Locative reverb: Artistic practice, sound technology, and the grammatization of the listener in the city
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Putnam, EL. (2021). Locative Reverb: Artistic Practice, Sound Technology, and the Grammatization of the Listener in the City. In M. Nagenborg, T. Stone, M. González Woge, & P.E. Vermaas (Eds.), Technology and the City: Towards a Philosophy of Urban Technologies. London and New York: Springer International Publishing.
There are various ways that artists use technology in exploring the relation of sound to the urban environment, which has different impacts on the listener in relation to place. The rising prominence of these works is connected to a broader sonic turn in urban studies and art, underscoring a rising emphasis on the influence of sound on multisensory experience. Using Bernard Stiegler’s consideration of technology as pharmakon (or the condition of duality in which something is both poison and cure, bringing both benefit and harm), and his definition of technological grammatization, how artistic use of technology mediates the relationship of the urban environment to the listener through sound is studied through a pharmacological approach in order to nuance the possibilities of artistic critical engagement, emphasising how this can include unintended consequences of re-enforcing certain listener behaviours. At the same time, considerations of how artistic repurposing of listening technology can provide new modes of urban engagement are taken into account, where sound offers the impetus for what Brandon LaBelle (2017) refers to as sonic agency.