Thursday, May 19, 2016

Geopolitics and the Antropocene: Five Propositions for Sound by Anja Kanngieser

Kanngieser investigates sound beyond its physical characteristics, soaring through space at 299,792,458 meters per second.  It has complex political meanings that get lost within the sound ricocheting around in the ear. Due to sound's dissipation into space, it has geographical implicaitons, only those around to hear its desperate echo.  She finds a "crossroads" in which to explore sound in its many forms: "disciplines concerned with sound (music, poetry), the politics of language (cultural, literary, and gender studies), and the physical and philosophical world (biology, philosophy, geography)." 

Sound is deceptive in its complex intangibility.  Sound is an inherently political medium and can probe five concepts in which Kanngieser sets forth.  Inequality.  Sound transcends the anthropocene in its "undermin[ing]" of "human exceptionalism," unequal in that it puts humans on a pedestal over every being in existence.  Imperceptibility.  Lack of sound can be just as powerful as its boisterous brother.  "Listening very carefully to the imperceptible" is a symbolic method in which to push away from anthropocentrism.  Translation.  Translation of sound manifests in a plethora of different mediums: oral, written, and other forms of language, and is necessary.  "Skepticism is necessary to suspending assertions about what knowledge is and how it should be produced."  Listening to new articulations can dissipate the natural or social divides between mediums.  Commons.  Sound has the potential to penetrate all matter and beings, constructing common ground between humans and the world alike; "the would is not for humans," "[it] is with humans."  Futures.  Sound is an ultimately ambiguous phenomenon.  Giving conclusive meaning to its nature would be naive.  It is an unstable element that resonates through time, through space, connecting matter with accelerated intent.

1 comment:

  1. This article seems very interesting to me, and I'd like to read it when I have some spare time. I never would have thought sound had anything to do with GIS. I wonder how using sound and geography could contribute to our experience and our understanding of both.