The Audibility of Rebellion versus Nationalism 

The Sound of Political Chant 
15. november 2017


In this paper I demonstrate how, using sounds of political chanting from Turkey in the last four years, political orientation significantly changes the inflection of chant, reflecting its societal positioning and purpose. Despite the fact that political chant in public space seems to be a generic and polyvalent means to an end, the make-up of the sound itself bares telltale signs of the chanter's intentions, affect, their vocal habits, and their knowledge of their intended listening audience, all of which make the sound particularly well adapted for their own political purposes. Although they have many shared characteristics, the difference between the vocal sounds of rebellion in political chants, as opposed to the vocal sounds of pure nationalist fervour, is therefore audible, as the examples in this paper attest, and the affects that pertain to the characteristics of these differing tones have specific political potentials. A comparison of the sound of chants from the Gezi Park protests of May-June 2013 with those of pro-government rallies in reaction to the coup attempt of July 15th, 2016 inform the argument. A short addendum with sound recorded the day after the referendum of April 16th, 2017, on the adoption of the new "presidential system" under Erdoğan, completes the paper. 

Audio Paper


Birdsall, C. (2012) Nazi Soundscapes: Sound, technology and urban space in Germany,1933-1945. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Damar, E. (2016) Radicalisation of politics and production of new alternatives: Rethinking the secular/Islamic divide after the Gezi park protests in turkey. Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 24(2), pp. 207–222. doi: 10.1080/14782804.2016.1167677.
Helvacioglu E. (2016) Sounds of Resistance. unpublished soundscape composition
Öğüt, E. H. (2016) Soundscape of a coup d'état. Sound matters: The SEM Blog (2016) Available at: (Accessed: 22 December 2016).
Özgür, S. (2012) The Sounds of Political Actions in the Streets of Istanbul. Ph.D. Dissertation, Istanbul Technical University. 
15 TEMMUZ DARBE HABERLERİ (2016) Darbe girişimi gecesi Erdoğan Atatürk Havalimanı’nda böyle karşılandı. Available at: (Accessed: 22 December 2016).
emin özen (2016) Demokrasi nöbeti vatan caddesinde mahşeri kalabalık. Available at: [accessed: 22 December 2016].
emin özen (2016) 15 temmuz darbe gecesi emniyet müdürü halka hitap ediyor. Available at: [accessed: 22 December 2016].
Video Karışık (2016) İstiklal Caddesi Mehter Marşlarıyla İnledi. Available at: (Accessed: 22 December 2016).
Ternström, S., Bohman, M. and Södersten, M. (2006) ‘Loud speech over noise: Some spectral attributes, with gender differences’, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 119(3), p. 1648. doi: 10.1121/1.2161435.
Woodruff, J. (2014) A Musical Analysis Of The People's Microphone: Voices And Echoes In Protest And Sound Art. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Twitter: 'BarışAkademisyenleri‏ @BarisAkademik "Hayır gerçeği ortaya çıkana kadar her gün sokaklardayız!" Yarın yine 19:30'da irademize sahip çıkıyoruz!‘ Posted 17.04.2017



Climbing the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan
15. november 2017

Extended abstract

This audio paper documents the climbing of a pyramid. It performs and discusses issues such as: sound as evidence, as opposed to ‘intense seeing’ (Tufte); networked ontology and agency (Serres, Pickering); facts and materiality in actor-networks (Latour); and technorepresentation (Hayles). 

The audio paper is based on a total of three hours of on-site recordings from Mexico City (Condesa), Teotihuacan and various airports during a journey there in October and November 2016. It is structured around four layers of edited sound recordings: 

1 ‘Journey in sound’ = climbing the pyramid (recorded in situ at Teotihuacan) - outer and inner journey. The sound paper mirrors the process of its own production. There is a distinct concretist/poetic inspiration; the structuring of the sound paper is the recording of an actual climb up and down the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan. And this climb also ‘takes place’ in the audio editor (see image below). 

2 ‘Archaeology of sound’ - analyzing the materiality of sound (recorded in Condesa, airports and at Teotihuacan).  

3 ‘Machine Raum’ = academic argument and discussion (recorded in Condesa, machine noises in background). Including Sound as evidence / the matter of fact / infrastructures. A different metaphysics is introduced: beyond dualisms. STS approach - transdisciplinary. Ignoring difference between social and non-social, ignoring outcome of previous work, ignoring the apparently ‘self-evident’ border between a scientific and non-scientific World. NO correct or false representations of nature. Scientific 'matters of FACT' (Latour). Scientific results appear as an intrinsic and understandable part of science in the making. Facts are like trains: they need their infrastructure (Latour). Sound as ‘evidence’ also points at the journey, the process of production, the transmitting network as a new structuring schematics for the humanities. 

4 ‘Noise’ as (and distraction from) materiality is a (discursive and aesthetic) sound element throughout the audio paper. As such, it is intended as a heterotopian work. The audio paper builds on attempts to analyse the materiality in-between the schema of the pyramid and the network. It uses the performativity (and agency) of the researcher, the technics and processes of recording, and the indeterminate localities of sound evidence, to suggest a different pragmatics for academic methodology. 

Audio Paper

Further background

 Thalés, à l'ombre des Pyramides, fit se lever la géométrie légère et douce de leurs millions de tonnes .  
[Thales, in the shadow of the Pyramids, caused the light and soft geometry of the millions of tons of stone to rise].
(Serres, 1984, p. 309)  

L’arrivée des nouvelles technologies a changé le schéma. Un schéma en réseau, ce n’est plus un schéma en pyramide. C’est autant de récepteurs que d’émetteurs. Tout le monde émet, et tout le monde reçoit. Cela change tout.
[The arrival of new technologies has changed the structural schema of our culture. It now follows the schema of the network, instead of the schema of the pyramid. There are as many receivers as emitters. Everyone emits, and everyone receives. It changes everything.] (Serres, 2015)

The French philosopher Michel Serres uses the pyramid to point out a diagram, or rather schema, which, together with the network (‘la reseau’), functions as the key figures in his philosophical/poetical method. Throughout his writings, he develops a certain ‘hyperbolic thinking’ (imagining, imaging), in which the diagram/schema (of the Pyramid and the network) as analytical tool is key.  The pyramid and its shadow are signs of an obsolete analytical method, whereas the network is the diagrammatic schema of new technologies. Thus, he argues, the whole game of understanding is transformed from being based on implied receptors (reception is navigating according to the schema of the Pyramid) to implied producers (or transmitters – navigating according to the schema of the Network).  

 La géométrie est une ruse, elle fait un détour, elle prend une route indirecte pour accéder à ce qui dépasse la pratique immédiate. La ruse, ici, c'est le modèle : construire en réduction. À module constant, un résumé, un squelette de pyramide. De fait, Thalès n'a rien découvert d'autre que la possibilité de la réduction, que l'idée de module, que la notion de modèle. La pyramide est inaccessible, il invente l'échelle.
[Geometry is a trick, it makes a detour, it takes an indirect route to access what exceeds the immediate practice. The trick is the use of the model: to build by reduction. The model is modular, scalable, a skeleton of the Pyramid. In fact, what Thales discovered is the possibility of reduction itself, the idea and concept of the model, the schema. The pyramid is inaccessible, he invents the tool to scale it.]
(Michel Serres, 1982, p. 164) 

The schematics of the network points us in the direction of how we may analyse the world in the age of technogenesis (as Katherine Hayles names it). Origo is both a point of origin and originality, the point through which everything must pass – materiality and imagination – and thus is the point zero of a ‘double structuring’ that Serres claims informs all our thinking about materiality and the existence of things. Origo is a logical and existential ‘zero point’, a place of synthesis of matter and ideas, objects and humans; and the interlacing of the ‘geometrical’ and antiquated paradigm of the pyramid with the present paradigm of the network. 

Origo is the conceptual idea structuring the audio paper’s presentation of academic argument as well as its poetic method. 

Technically: An Edirol stereo recorder was used for all recordings. There are no synthetic sounds or samples involved; all used sounds are based on recordings made during the trip to Mexico.  

Audacity was used for editing. 

In the editing process, I constructed the audio paper as a pyramid in sound (see below) – as a concrete visual and auditory poetic structuring of Origo.

Fig. 1. Screenshot of the basic concrete ‘poetic’ structuring of the audio paper Origo as a ‘pyramid’ schema. The final result integrated more elements and a few more layers, but the basic structure remained almost intact. 



Cox, G. (2016) Ways of Machine Seeing. The Photographers Gallery, London. [Online]. Available from:, [accessed 29. november 2016]. 
Hayles, K. (2012) How We Think - Digitial Media and Contemporary Technogenesis. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 
Latour, B. (2005) Reassembling The Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Parikka, J. (2015) A Geology of Media. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.  
Pickering, A. (1995) The mangle of practice : time, agency, and science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Serres, M. (1982) La Communication. Paris: Gallimard. 
Serres, M. (1984) La Traduction. Paris: Gallimard. 
Serres, M. (1986) Statues. Paris: Gallimard. 
Serres, M. (2015) "Ce n’est pas avec la trouille qu’on invente". Europe 1, Paris. [Online]. Available from:, [accessed 29. November 2016]. 
Tufte, R. (2001) The Visual Display of Quantitative Information .Connecticut: Graphics press, Connecticut. 


Michel Serres
sound and memory
sound and scientific evidence
Sound Journey
sound-media archaeology
the cultural schema of networks
the cultural schema of pyramids

How to (Re) Do(o) Things with Sounds

Post-Human, Post-Production, Post-Truth (Redux)
15. november 2017


This audio paper and the companion video, are intended as an augmentation of the performative presentation which I gave at the Sound Art Matters conference - the title of this previous contribution being: How to Do(o) Things with Sounds: Or, Is It the Sounding of Sound Matter That Matters.

My presented provocation employed hybridised modes of interrogation, including: performed sound producing gestures; smartphone voice activated online searches; and the participation of conference attendees in a ‘pencil snapping’ action in response to a particular section of delivered text. Although the possibilities offered by the opportunity of an audio paper are much more in line with my ‘doing-thinking’ of the performative agency of the sonic, this alone still fails to fully articulate my desire to iterate and (re)iterate these concerns. My discussion of sonic materiality is one very much reliant on the mediatory act as both a non-representational discourse and an outcome.

I offer a redux, mash-up of content taken from my conference presentation, interweaved with a re-purposed examination of sonic mediation. “The theatre of repetition is opposed to the theatre of representation” (Deleuze, 1994, p10).

Audio Paper

To establish a context for the performance-video, I include here a short audio-only piece entitled, The Sounding of Plastic and Paper: Instances of a Deed-Oriented Ontology of the Sonic. 

Video Paper


Austin, J.L., (1975) How to Do Things with Words. 2Rev e. edition., Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Barad, K. (2003) ‘Posthumanist Performativity: Toward an Understanding of How Matter Comes to Matter.’ In, Signs 28, no. 3. [accessed June 11, 2016].
Bogost, I. (2012) Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Brassier, R. (2003) ‘Axiomatic Heresy: The non-philosophy of François Laruelle’. In, Radical Philosophy. Vol. 121 (Sep/Oct 2003). [accessed November 4, 2016]
Butt, G, (ed.) (2004) After Criticism: New Responses to Art and Performance. 1 edition. Malden, MA: WB.
Cull, L., and Lagaay, A. (2014) Encounters in Performance Philosophy. Hampshire & New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Cull, L. (2012) Performance as Philosophy: Responding to the Problem of “Application”. In Theatre Research International, 37(1), pp. 20–27. doi: 10.1017/S0307883311000733.
DeLanda, M. (2013) Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
Deleuze, G. (2004) Difference and Repetition. London etc.: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.
Hantelmann, D. von. (2010) How to Do Things with Art: The Meaning of Art’s Performativity. Zürich; Dijon: JRP Ringier; Les Presses du Réel.
Harman, G. (2011) The Quadruple Object. Reprint edition. Winchester & Washington D.C.: Zero Books.
Harman, G. (2013) Bells and Whistles: More Speculative Realism. Winchester & Washington D.C.: Zero Books.
Ihde, D. (2009) Postphenomenology and Technoscience: The Peking University Lectures. SUNY Press.
Ihde, D. (1995) Postphenomenology: Essays in the Postmodern Context. Northwestern University Press.
Kotsko, A. (2013) A Dangerous Supplement: Speculative Realism, Academic Blogging, and the Future or Philosophy. In, (eds.), Austin, M. (ed.)  Speculations Journal. Speculations IV: Speculations: A Journal of Speculative Realism. punctum books.
Laruelle, F., (2012) The Non-Philosophy Project: Essays by Francois Laruelle. New York: Telos Press.
Latour, B., (2004) Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
Massumi, B. (2008) The Thinking-Feeling of What Happens, Inflexions 1.1 “How is Research-Creation?”, Available at: Thinking-Feeling-of-What-Happens-by-Brian-Massumi.pdf [Accessed October 5, 2013].
Maoilearca, J.Ó. & Smith, A. (2012) Laruelle and Non-Philosophy. Annotated edition. Edinburgh University Press.
Migone, C. (2012) Sonic Somatic: Performances of the Unsound Body. Los Angeles: Errant Bodies Press.
Palmer, H. (2016) Rewritings / Refoldings / Refleshings: Fictive publics and the material gesture of defamiliarization, Continuum, 30(5), pp. 507–517. doi:10.1080/10304312.2016.121072 
Pontbriand, C. (2014) Per/Form How To Do Things With(out) Words. Móstoles, Madrid % Berlin: Sternberg Press.
Stroud, S.R. (2006) ‘How to Do Things with Art’, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, XLIV : pp. 341–65. 

Abstract References: 
Williamson, A., (2010). The Collapsing Lecture. In ed. Butt. G., Performing / Knowing, Volume One of Art-Writing-Research, Goldsmiths College/Article Press. Birmingham City University. 
Deleuze, G. (2004) Difference and Repetition. New edition. London etc.: Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd.  


Deed-Oriented Ontology
New Materialisms
Sonic Agency

Listening and not listening to voices

Interrogating the prejudicial foundations of the sound arts canon
15. november 2017


We live in sound, it is all around us. We are implicated in the social relationships and ideologies that we hear reflected back to us. Sound art offers the chance to critique the world that we hear, and to produce new and different possibilities. Are sound artists taking up the challenge of offering new ways of knowing or changing the world, and does this need new ways of listening and understanding? Can sound art act as a tool for radical change by ‘de-conditioning’ our listening and helping us cross linguistic, cultural, geographic, ethnic, gendered, specied and sexual prejudicial borders? This audio paper will consider how new listenings might lead to a richer, more inclusive sound art, that can embrace and celebrate difference.  

Audio Paper


Feldman, S. (2008) Speak up: Why do women screech when men shout? Available from Rationalist Association, [accessed 1.12.13]  
Heddon, D. (2008). Autobiography and performance. Hampshire: Palgrave.  
Hooks, B. (1990) Marginality as a Site of Resistance. In Ferguson, R. et. al.(Eds.) Out There: Marginalization and Contemporary Cultures. Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press 
Hooks Bell interview accessed 24.3.2017 
Lane, C.  (2011) Listening for the Past: A composer's ear-lead approach to exploring island culture past and present in the Outer Hebrides. In  
Lane, C. (2015) Sandy Jaffas (sound work). Courtesy of the author 
Lane, C. (2016) Mapping the Outer Hebrides in sound: towards a sonic methodology. Island Studies Journal, 11(2): 343-358. 
Serres, M. (2008) The Fives Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies  (translated Sankey, M and Cowley, P) London: Continuum. 
Stadler, G. (2015) On Whiteness and Sound Studies [accessed 25.5.2016] 
Stoever-Ackerman, J. (2010). Splicing the Sonic Color-Line: Tony Schwarz mixes postwar Nueva York. Social Text 102:28:1.  
Schwarz,T. (1955) Nueva York: A Tape Documentary of Puerto Rican New Yorkers, Folkways Records 
Viv Corringham (voice) & Maggie Nichols (voice) at Mopomoso free improvisation night. Filmed by Kostas Chondros at the Vortex, London, on 21 December 2014 [accessed 2.1.17]. 
Wright, M.P. (2013) (video work)  A proposed vocabulary exchange. Courtesy of the author. 




Memory, Voice, Sound and Physicality through a Multi-sensorial Radio Remix Installation 
15. november 2017


The ethnographic installation “Kabusha Radio Remix” repurposes Bemba language recordings from the archived audio recordings from one of Radio Zambia’s most popular programmes, Kabusha Takolelwe Bowa (a Bemba proverb meaning “The Person Who Inquires First, Is Not Poisoned by a Mushroom”). In the programme, host David Yumba answered listeners’ letters about politics, society, family, and current events, as they were read aloud by co-host Emelda Yumbe. Central to the installation is a reengineered 60-minute Kabusha “radio program” that mimics its original format. This version, however, juxtaposes Yumba’s recorded responses as answers to present-day inquiries about politics, the technicalities of archives, current Zambian and global politics.  

This audio paper, framed as a conversation, addresses the collision of the tactile and the sonic, and discusses how sonic frontiers are exploited and transgressed in the engineered sound mix and via visitors’ engagements with the installation, inviting visitors to “encounter voices and images from the past in a technological space that is both historical and contemporary” (Stoller 2015).  The paper addresses how the installation works as a digital hypertext to analogue ephemera, and how issues of subject agency, immortality, translation, wisdom, ownership, truth, and the media-democracy relationship are thrown into bold relief.  

Audio Paper


Kabusha Radio Remix: Your Questions Answered by Pioneering Zambian Talk Show Host David Yumba (1923-1990).

Kabusha Radio Remix: Your Questions Answered by Pioneering Zambian Talk Show Host David Yumba (1923-1990).


Deepest gratitude to our colleagues at Ethnographic Terminalia and Le Cube for fostering this work and our physical installations.  Special thanks go to Nick Peterson (voice recording of di Leonardo excerpt).  The Bemba Online Project and the Kabusha Radio Remix project have been generously supported by the Emory University Halle Institute for Global Learning, the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry, the Emory University Department of Anthropology, and the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship.  




Campbell, C. (2015) Ethnographic Terminalia - After the Bureau of Memories: Reflections  at the Intersections of Archives, Art, and Anthropology. Mnemoscape, 2. 
Dick, P.K. (2002) We can remember it for you wholesale (Vol. 2). Citadel Press. 
Ernst, W. (2010) Archival Times: Tempor(e)alities Of Media Memory. 
Leonardo, M.-d. (2012) Grown Folks Radio: U.S. Election Politics and a “Hidden” Black Counterpublic. American Ethnologist 39(4):661–672.   
Stoller, P. (2015) The Bureau of Memories: Archives and Ephemera. Fieldsights–Visual and New Media Review, Cultural Anthropology Online
Vidali, D.S. (2016)  Multisensorial Anthropology: A Retrofit Cracking Open of the Field.  American Anthropologist 118(2):395-400.    

Audio Sources in Seismograf Audio Paper
Kabusha Radio Remix
Christoph Cox, Matter (In Several Phases). Recorded November 20, 2014.
Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, The Transformissions of the Archive: Literary Remainders in the Late Age of Print. Recorded March 14, 2016.
Allison Molitor, Memory Lecture. Published July 21, 2012.
Prof. B.J. Phiri, October History Lecture: 50 Years On is Zambia's History Forgotten, Suppressed or Untold? Recorded October 1, 2014.

Project Websites
Kabusha Radio Remix
Bemba Online Project (BOP)



Mountain meets urban waterfront

30. august 2016

Experimental audio paper

Listen to the audio paper in Sound Cloud


The audio paper is an experiment in combining two different soundscapes: a sonic composition of field recordings from Hallingskarvet mountain and an urban waterfront atmosphere, with the site-specific real time sounds of Islands Brygge. Baixinho and Blom explore what happens when we mix sounds from a Norwegian mountain with sounds from a Danish urban, post-industrial waterfront environment and its contemporary recreational uses. How does the pre-existent aural environment integrate and dialogue with our “invading” sonic composition? How do sounds mix, overlap or distinguish themselves? The audio paper reflects on the content of both independent soundscapes and explores the outcomes of this mingling.


Cobussen, M., Schulze, H. & Meelberg, V. (2013) Editorial: Towards new sonic epistemologies. Journal of Sonic Studies, 4 (1). Availbable from

 LaBelle, B. (2010) Acoustic territories: sound culture and everyday life. New York: Continuum.

 Law, J. & Urry, J. (2004) Enacting the social. Economy and Society, 33 (3), 390-410.

 Lefebvre, H. (2013/1992) Rhythmanalysis: space, time and everyday life. London: Bloomsbury.

 Massumi, B. (2002) Parables of the Virtual. Movement, Affect, Sensation. Durham & London: Duke University Press.

 McFarlane, C. (2011) Assemblage and critical urbanism. City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 15 (2), 204-224.

 Schafer, M. (1994) The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World. Rochester: Vt.: Destiny Books.

 Schmitz, H.; Müller, R. O. & Slaby, J. (2011) Emotions outside the box – the new phenomenology of feeling and corporeality. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 10, 241-259.

Schubert, D. (2008) Transformation Processes on Waterfronts in Seaport Cities – Causes and Trends between Divergence and Convergence. Kokot, Waltraud et al (Eds.) Port cities as Areas of Transition: Ethnographic Perspectives. Bielefeld: Transcript, 25-46.

Thibaud, J-P. (2011) A sonic paradigm of urban ambiances, Journal of Sonic Studies, Vol. 1(1). Available from


aural perception

A Sound Factory on Amager

From Odesk to ASMR
30. august 2016

Experimental Audio Paper

Listen to the audio paper in Sound Cloud


The nature of work has developed dramatically over recent decades. Often characterized as a shift from fordism to post-fordism, these changes have dissolved the old certainties of working life, switching jobs for life with precarious positions, and material production with the seeming immateriality of knowledge work. Places like Amager, still a home to some industries, are now left hosting a multiplicity of post-industrial activities. A field trip to Amager reveals a complex picture of former industrial spaces being inhabited by artists creating colourful knitwear, flea markets selling outdoor furniture, judo schools, the gigantic office of Telia, an airport and hotels specializing in corporate functions. Our proposal is to create an audio paper as a temporary fluid factory; a production of production in sound. This audio paper does not simply represent the production process but actually enters into it, using Amager as the infrastructure and node of connection.  We explore the new forms of labour facilitated by new and old infrastructures. This paper explores questions about our changing conceptions of infrastructure, expanding notions of place, the location and nature of a workforce, openings of new domains for exploitation, and what is the nature of work itself.

Extended abstract 

One of the purposes of this audio paper was to explore the relationship between conventional written academic papers and the recorded and produced audio form. Unfolding an argument about the complexities of post-fordist modes of production requires a certain theoretical depth, which could probably be read aloud in 15 minutes. But to communicate this through produced audio requires that these words are engaged with differently; as temporal phenomena comprised of extraordinarily rich data. During the production process, we became aware of a plurality idiosyncrasies, which emerged when we engaged with our text in this way. The distance the recording production process created between us and the text allowed us to explore the roles and presentation of doubt and errors in the communication of knowledge.

In a related point, the use of two lead voices highlights the collective process of knowledge creation in a way that is often left in the background of multi-authored papers. Affect plays a more enhanced role in the conveyance of information, something we explored directly by setting arguments to music. The subtlety is to allow the music the time to affect the listener's experience of the argument, but not simply as a prop for the text. 

We explore the dramaturgy of this mode of expression, allowing the temporal space to alleviate the density of the information presented. What’s more, it allows for some formal experimentation in the production, of the production of sound. Including the relative precision of reading rehearsed and scripted material juxtaposed against informal improvised conversation. Through this, the listener is then exposed to the spatiality of sound, the recording studio vs. the environmental conversation around a breakfast table. The time taken between these sections gives the listener the moments necessary to reflect on the subtleties of the production. Do you hear edits of extra breath? Was a verbal stumble deliberate or simply deliberately left in? This adds a meta level to the discussion of production of sound; namely that the malleability of digital production is so extensive that it raises new complex questions about the production of knowledge in the age of digital work.



Augé, M. (1995) Non-places: introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity. London: Verso.

Berardi, F. (2015) Heroes: mass murder and suicide. London: Verso.

Boltanski, L., & Chiapello, E. (2005) The new spirit of capitalism. London: Verso.

Rezno, T., & Ross, A. (2010) The social network. Berlin: Null Corp.

Weber, M. (1958). The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism. New York: Scribner


Eno, B. (1978) Music for airports. [United States], Editions EG.

Mister Motif (2014)  Ordinary Day (recordings of the sound of the ODesk worker Mister Motif’s work in his home in Greece).

Noel, C. (2014) Happy 1st Anniversary. 5 Binaural ASMR Triggers. Available from Accessed 13/09/2015.



digital work

Between maps and territories

- a generative feedback loop
30. august 2016

Experimental Audio Paper

Listen to the audio paper in Sound Cloud


This audio paper departs from an artwork made by Andreas Führer called The Map is Not The Territory D’Or; a score for a soundwalk in the town of Roskilde, Denmark. The basic sound materials used in the audio paper are 1) an interview in Danish with the artist, 2) a voice over of a theoretical text in English, and 3) recordings from performances of the piece, including walking, breathing exercises, and the sounds of ventilation systems and other environmental sound. By mingling these different materials, and by using ‘map’ and ‘territory’ as metaphors, the paper complicates issues of representation and materialism, suggesting that it can never be one or the other, but always both at once. The paper does not offer a hermeneutic interpretation of Führer’s piece; rather it is a performative appropriation that uses the piece as a machine for experimenting with the relations between artist and theorist, artwork, embodied experience and academic representation, all of which are categories rendered somewhat problematic by the format of the audio paper itself. 

Extended abstract

The audio paper Between maps and territories - a generative feedback loop departs from a scored soundwalk made by artist Andreas Führer called The Map is Not The Territory D’Or (Führer 2014), which was commissioned by Rasmus Holmboe for ACTS Festival 2014 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde. During the Festival, Jan Stricker interviewed Führer about his piece, while walking the route indicated in the score. This interview, together with recordings of various types of ventilation systems (the locations of which are specified in the score), and the voice over of an essay written by Rasmus Holmboe and performed by Andreas Führer, constitutes the basic materials of the audio paper. The sound of walking and the breathing exercises that are also indicated in the score are used as elements to either speed up or slow down the narrative.

As this brief formal description suggests, Between maps and territories - a generative feedback loop is an investigation of mixed authorship, representation, and mingledness (Serres, 2008), while it is at the same time a quasi-academic appropriation of an artwork through the format of an audio paper. Inspired by Erin Manning and Brian Massumi’s concept of “research-creation” (Manning & Massumi, 2014, p. 87), Holmboe and Stricker have tried to turn Führer’s artwork into a thinking-machine as a way of enacting what Manning and Massumi would call immanent critique. As such, this audio paper responds to the formal challenges of the genre by positing research-creation as "[…] a mode of activity all its own, occurring at the constitutive level of both art practice and theoretical research, at the point before research and creation diverge into the institutional structures that capture and contain their productivity and judge them by conventional criteria for added value" (Manning & Massumi, 2014, p. 89).

The inspiration to pursue this approach has been the entanglement of positions inherent to doing practical curatorial research. Here, the varying roles and interests of artist, curator, researcher and audiences are constantly negotiated against a backdrop of the different institutional and epistemological contexts they work within, as well as the demands that these contexts conventionally apply to their own internal modes of operation. In this light, the present audio paper is also an experiment that tries to transgress these categories by performing a notion of criticality (Rogoff, 2004), which can both acknowledge its own limited viewpoint as its strength (Haraway, 1988), at the same time as it is aware of the ecology of practices (Stengers, 2005) that this limited viewpoint is necessarily part of.

In the ecology particular to this audio paper, different positions commingle and interact: 1) The artist’s wish to keep the work open to any interpretation, 2) the curatorial obligation to present the work in accordance with the artist’s intentions, 3) the immanent position of the curator-as-researcher that complicates traditional methodological approaches to reflexivity, let alone objectivity, 4) the personal relations in the collaboration (and the conditions of possibility for future collaborations), and 5) the format of the audio paper as an academic genre that tries to challenge the conventional institutional structures and criteria. In applying the concept of research-creation to accommodate for this collaborative ecology, we have deliberately experimented with a blurring of the conventional categories of artist/curator/researcher as well as those of artwork/argument/theory. This implicitly enacts and promotes the entanglement of positions and mingledness of voices in the concrete relations of the situation.

Theory, in this context, is not treated as an explanatory framework – as well as the artwork isn’t posed as something in need of a discursive interpretation. Rather, the artwork serves as an invitation to posit a performative auditory reflection that incorporates sensual as well as discursive aspects. As such, Between maps and territories - a generative feedback loop is an attempt to actualize (more than discuss) representationalist and materialist theories of sound (art) from a perspective that pays close attention to the transitions between the registers of the sensible and the discursive. Between maps and territories - a generative feedback loop is then neither a strict academic paper, nor an audio performance lecture. It is neither fact, nor fiction; rather it is conceived as a mix – an essayistic performative iteration that plays on the conventions of, and experiments somewhere in between, the genres of performance lecture, literary and academic text, radio montage, musical score, breathing exercises and sound-walking. It is a mix, whose argument is implicit as a consequence of its complex subject matter and the challenge of the format of the academic audio paper. In this commingled and entangled ecology, listening (as well as anything else) can never be alone.


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English, L. (2015) Relational Listening: The Politics of Perception. Ear / Wave / Event (2).


Goodman, S. (2010) Sonic Warfare: sound, affect, and the ecology of fear. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Haraway, D. (1988) Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective. Feminist Studies, 14: 575-599.

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Manning, E., & Massumi, B. (2014) Thought in the Act: Passages in the Ecology of Experience. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Rogoff, I. (2004) What is a Theorist? J. Elkins & M. Newman (Eds.) The State of Art Criticism. New York: Routledge.

Schneider, R. (2011) Performing Remains. London: Routledge.

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Serres, M. (2008) The Five Senses: A Philosophy of Mingled Bodies (M. Sankey & P. Cowley, Trans.). London and New York: Continuum.

Stengers, I. (2005) Introductory notes on an ecology of practices. Cultural Studies Review, 11(1), 183-196.

Szendy, P. (2008) Listen: a history of our ears (C. Mandell, Trans.). New York: Fordham University Press.


Ecology of practices

The New “Amagerkaner”

Auditory Ghosts of Amager, 2055
30. august 2016

Experimental Audio Paper

Listen to the audio paper in Sound Cloud


How did Amager sound back in 2055? Which sounds have inhabited this place that is now overlooked, perhaps abandoned and left to its own stories and eerie auditory ghosts? By assessing site-specific found objects coming from a near-future, this audio paper blends a speculative design perspective with sound ethnography to enquire about the effects of urban and social development (or lack thereof) in certain areas of the island of Amager. The piece mixes field recordings, sound design and storytelling in order to paint a near-future soundscape, as if looked at from a distant tomorrow; in it, objects are described, stories are told and sounds are (un)heard, forming a liquid, yet vivid architecture of the could-be or could-have-been in the mind of the listener. By doing so, the piece aims to provoke reflection and discussion on what might be weird now, normal tomorrow and eerie in the future.

Extended abstract

This audio paper is an experimental fusion of Speculative and Critical Design (SCD) with sound-based research methods. It is part of an ongoing investigation into the politics of designing for sound, and its accountability for the configuration of violent soundscapes. Due to its speculative nature, the delivery of the paper assumes a storytelling format, in which (half) imaginary auditory worlds and speculative devices are presented to the listener as if already part of a distant past; political nuances and overtones of this world are only hinted at but never fully explained, leaving the task of filling the gaps to the listener herself. The narrator – someone that might be a researcher, an activist or a concerned citizen – gives a few clues as to where to situate the story: events that happened in the "past" (from the point of view where the audio paper starts, that is, our near-future) are presented as if they are well-known episodes, but no exact dates are given. The voice over describes how these episodes were chronicled by "official accounts", while at the same time offering the listener a series of “archaeological specimens” which tell another story – one that investigates how listening devices might be deployed as tools for subversion and political resistance. 

The agency of design in this scenario is that of depicting technological articulations – be they systems, material objects, or listening strategies – as devices for future-making. This audio paper aims to surpass the “upper structural layers ([e.g.] economic and political systems, cultural formations, technological civilizations)" (Morawska 2013, p.50) that usually define the distribution (or lack thereof) of power and social agency, in order to privilege more situated human-to-human interactions that might emerge as counter-hegemonic acts against said systems and technologies. Hence the choice of hacked objects and impromptu solutions; they also illustrate the understanding of design as an activity inherent to human nature, and as such, potentially detachable from its inherently unsustainable nature – e.g. its placement within capitalist, neoliberal regimes – to move towards distributing and securing futures (Fry 2011, Fry et al. 2015). While within a Speculative Design discourse, a choice of "preferable futures" that lie somewhere between the "probable" and the "plausible" (Dunne 2005, Dunne and Raby 2013) is a given, most of its production shows us otherwise, as extensively argued by authors such as Tonkinwise (2014), Ansari (2015), and Prado de O. Martins and Vieira de Oliveira (2015). The criticism towards most of SCD’s production is directed at its lack of political accountability, often depicting one-dimensional futures in which what threatens the privileged – more often than not the subject, object, and audience of these projects – is the fear of losing their hegemony (Vieira de Oliveira 2016). By presenting possible objects for political resistance, rather than speculative consumer products, this contribution aims to present the listener with a different articulation of designing, one that accounts for devices that are inherently ambiguous, subversive, and very often neglected. Relying on how sounds and listening experiences can be effectively tweaked – and demonstrating these experiences through sound itself – is a way of using the act of designing for sound as a demonstration of this articulation.

Sonic fictions like these [1], however, are not unprecedented; they are seen in many other places and periods of history, as the scream of the subaltern, of those oppressed by the status quo, by the media, by their fellow citizens. For instance, Gloria Anzaldúa explores the delicate negotiation of her own "home tongues" oscillating among "Chicano Spanish", "Tex-Mex", "Standard [English]", and "Working Class English" (2007[1987], pp.77–78), as an assertion of her multiple identities as a Queer Latina in the United States. Andrew S. Grove (2001) recalls how during WWII times in Budapest, he and his friends would play “ghetto”, and set a clear division of authority towards the kids playing the powerless Jews. Other authors such as Frantz Fanon (1967[1959]) or Alejandra Bronfman (2012) demonstrate how the re-appropriation and misuse of radio in Algeria and Santiago de Cuba, through subversion and tinkering respectively, was a tool for decolonial and anti-oppressive struggles in these countries.

The island of Amager is, historically, a site of constant expansion, contraction, and sometimes, even segregation: socially, economically and even physically (Schmidt 2013). This scenario works within this delicate articulation, and uses the image of the island in order to get a glimpse of how sound can be used as a way of navigating, "from Below" (Morawska 2013), local politics and policies. In the story of the “new Amagerkaner”, sounds are designed to become coded language; accents are subverted, and; play routines reflect and re-signify the immediate struggle of a population not only to be heard, but also to change how others listen to, and sound about them. The island of Amager becomes a metaphor for a political and cultural struggle, a peek onto a micro-universe that attempts to condense, in a fourteen-minute-long story, how complicated things could get if we do not “keep working hard” to become agents for change.[2]

In a similar fashion, the sonic fictions from a once-lost future of Amager are devices that embody and represent the micro-politics of a speculative incarnation of the island, entangling stories and histories through witty misappropriations of a collective identity, through subversive and counter-hegemonic acts. In this short scenario-setting, however, they are but scratches on the surface of how material culture can re-articulate itself in times of crisis; how methodologies can be re-signified and properly situated. These new sonic ontologies might be one way of achieving this.

[1] I base my notion of “sonic fictions” on Eshun’s idea of “switching on” theories of sound that are already present in sound discourses themselves (1998). This concept is further expanded as a “heuristics for sound studies” by Schulze (2013) and suggested as a decolonial epistemology for Speculative Design by the author (Vieira de Oliveira, forthcoming).

[2] As put by Sanne Krogh at the opening of the second day of Fluid Sounds, Fluid States, which was the day after the Danish Elections of 2015.


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Morawska, E. (2013) Multiculturalism “from Below”: Reflections of an Immigrant Ethnographer. Kivisto, P., Wahlbeck, O. (Eds.), Debating Multiculturalism in the Nordic Welfare States. Basignstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 48–73.

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listening devices
sonic fiction
speculative design

“Like sitting inside a phone”

Experimental Audio Paper

Listen to the audio paper in Sound Cloud


Being at the same time intimately connected to everyday lives and places, and yet inaccessible to most people, the radio studio has a paradoxical position in the modern imaginary. Acoustically designed to be inaudible, the studio is barely noticeable to the listener, yet ever-present as a prerequisite for voices, dialogues and situations to enter daily lives. Nations listen in on what is happening in the radio studio, but few people have actually had physical experience with it. The ones who have, were there to perform – often as a host or as an interviewee. 

Extended abstract

Indeed, it seems to be an essential quality of the radio studio for it not to impose itself on its listeners. The reasons for this can be traced to what Emily Thompson describes as the “Soundscape of Modernity”, where sound is conceptualized as a “signal” and dissociated from space (Thompson 2004:1). The radio studio materializes a conceptualization of sound, as something to be controlled, and one of space as something constructed in sound, rather than something reflected in acoustics. (Ibid: 234). If we consider media, as having the capacity to “erase itself in the act of mediation” (Eisenlohr 2009: 9), and at the same time consider them concrete loci for public debate and the construction of subjectivities, what is the function of the radio studio? Which kinds of human extensions are issued by the radio studio? Which power relations are effected?

In order to explore the function and the site-specificity of the radio studio we took, as a point of departure, Marc Augé’s (1995) concept of non-place as a feature typical of supermodernity. Augé defines the non-place as a space in which one is stripped of a multiplicity of identities, to be momentarily defined as a function of that space. Deprived of the organic relations and shared histories often found in modernity’s places, non-places like airports, supermarkets and highways are rather defined by particular functions more easily imposed on subjects acting as passengers or customers. Travelling through such non-places according to Augé leave individuals to feel a “momentary availability” (ibid. 101), but also distance and solitude (ibid. 103).

Augé’s analysis of non-places is instrumental in specifying the function of the radio studio on listeners experiencing it as an inaccessible and vaguely felt non-place. It also directed our attention to the users of the radio studio and the different roles they took on when entering the space: ‘host’, ‘guest’, ‘expert’ etc. Our investigation thus focussed on the users’ conceptions of the radio studio. Using sound devices to record interviews and to take auditory notes, we ventured into the field in order to explore the radio studio from the perspective of the people who actually go inside it. We were wondering what it is like to gain access to that space? What is it like to be inside it? And finally, what kind of space is it?

Through interviews with radio studio users, through mini fieldwork and on the background of previous fieldwork in different studios, we have explored the space of the radio studio. Our fieldwork centred on the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) and their facilities in Ørestaden, Amager, Copenhagen, specifically on the two-hour afternoon talk program P1 Eftermiddag (P1 Afternoon). What hosts and people who had been guests in radio studios told us were experiences of concrete places and they emphasized the technical character of the space extensively. Their accounts were about machine-like rooms in which some felt like they were just another cog in the wheel, but also about the pleasure of controlling the machine and the sound that was emitted from it. To be in the studio could thus be conceived as being inside a machine and being implemented in a larger apparatus of auditory production. It was also a place from where one could exert a certain control over this production, and be in control of whom one allowed to interfere with it.

The production explores the experienced character of the radio studio from the multiple perspectives of our informants. It is structured into a loose narrative form: basically taking the listener inside a physical studio space and then into the more mental spaces of its users. In the end, we attempt to break the narrative and radiogenic form in order to establish a more analytic and explorative perspective. Here, the researchers themselves emerge in a studio playing back sound snippets, comparing and discussing them in order to outline some of the discursive formations they encountered.

It is interesting how the experience of the radio studio as an unarticulated and vaguely defined space, when shifting the perspective to the users, is rather that of a mechanic and technological space. Most of our informants present an account of the radio studio as a powerful apparatus controlling not only sound qualities but also identities. Clearly there are power issues involved in controlling this machinery, of “coming across” and of navigating between subjectively felt identities and required functions. From this brief study, it seems that the technical character of the radio studio for most users overshadows it’s potential to be a non-place in Augé’s sense. For most users it is prominently a piece of machinery to comprehend and to operate. But, for experienced users and hosts the studio seems to work as an extension of their selves erecting deep anxieties as well as elevated pleasures. Most likely Augé’s non-places like airports exhibit the same qualities of only allowing the momentary availability and freedom to users highly confident with its functions and flows, while the same space to the new user or immigrant might appear as a highly disciplining machinery. The experienced user operates the studio like an instrument.

This enquiry took its departure in a notion of place and “site-specificity”, which was challenged by concepts of non-place and apparatus. We found that while the radio studio certainly functions as a particular kind of space, this has less to do with the specificity of the site, and more to do with the technical character of radio. Thompson notes that the aesthetics of the soundscape of modernity emerged out of the so-called “Machine Age” (Thompson 2004:1). An interesting perspective to explore further, would be if the radio studio, rather than being a futuristic space of the supermodernity to use Augé’s term, is actually better understood as a reminiscence of an apparatus from the “Machine Age”?

Thank you to the participants.
In order of appearance they are:

Jacob Kreutzfeldt
Mark Vacher
Morten Michelsen
Tore Leifer
Laura Yaros
Holger Schulze

Speak: Sandra Lori Petersen


Augé, M. (1995) Non-places. Introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity. London: Verso.

Eisenlohr, P. (2009) What is a medium? The anthropology of media and the question of ethnic and religious pluralism. Inaugural lecture, Utrecht University, May 26. Available from

Thompson, E. (2004) The Soundscape of Modernity. Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900-1930. Cambridge, Massachussets & London, England: MIT Press.


Radio studio