“Acoustic Infrastructures”, continent. journal special issue on sound

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Adam Basanta, A Room Listening to Itself. 2015. Photo by Angie Rizzo.

Continent. journal has published an interesting issue on sound called Acoustic Infrastructures, exploring a wide range of perspectives around them, crossing art, ecology, technology, philosophy, among others.

The street-level sonic cultures, acoustic ecologies and personal interventions available to us have, during this long 20th Century, become proliferated by speakers, microphones, synthesised and recorded playbacks, beeps, buzzes and alarms. Roving gangs of indignant mobile-phone music-listeners disrupt the public transit experience. iPhones chirp out the sound of something called ‘crickets’, creatures many a listener may very well never encounter. Airlines pass on the extravagant levy of ‘noise charges’ to their customers, a kind of psychic and acoustic bandwidth fee. Microwave ovens, automobiles and authoritative ahuman voices chime out an acoustic ecology that is neither ‘natural’ nor ‘cultural’, neither ‘societal’ nor ‘technological’, but something that is a heterogeneous mixture of all of these sources, causes and categories. These are ‘acoustic infrastructures’, and although human-made, they are naturalised by their ubiquity and always-on-ness, along with our allover, everyday, experience of them.

Articles and authors 

More at continent, where you can also find PDF versions of each piece available for download.