Post-Natural Sound Arts

A Bomb.jpg

The emphasis throughout rests in the application of an eco-political ear, one that is not without its uncertainties and limits, but nonetheless endeavors to listen in, and out, of intersectional power (Journal of Sonic Studies Vol. 13).


How does sound transmit complex geopolitical meaning? In a time of increasing ecological and politically instability has the long-empathetic notion of non-invasive environmental sound recording become a redundant ideal that is as illusionary as so-called Nature itself? How is technological agency performed and part of an ecological approach? Whom do ‘we’ speak for in the sounding of environments?

This ongoing research project (publication, lecture, teaching) focuses on archival and artistic sound recordings that demonstrate how sonic representations are part of an interlacing of geographies, media, and time. Calling for a listening practice as an art of noticing (Tsing 2015), outside and around the representable frame, I argue that sound performs hidden data within the silence and noise of its capture.  

Keywords: ecology, listening, media, nature, noise

Journal of Sonic Studies Vol 13

Image: audio spectrogram of Nuclear Test, Operation Upshot-Knothole Annie, US National Archives, 1953. Real time recording made via camera 11 kilometres from blast site. [A] represents the moment of detonation as light traveling faster than sound inflicts upon the camera’s technological gaze. [B] represents the 'real' detonation as an audible doubling, thirty-two seconds later.