Acousmatic listening and other sound and politics.

In light of our reading on sound in public and private space, here are some links that might be called “Sound and Power”.

“NSA dataveillance listens acousmatically because it hears the patterns of relationships that emerge from various combinations of data—e.g., which people talk and/or meet where and with what regularity. Instead of listening to identifiable subjects, the NSA identifies and tracks emergent properties that are statistically similar to already-identified patterns of “suspicious” behavior. Legally, the NSA is not required to identify a specific subject to surveil; instead they listen for patterns in the ambience. This type of observation is “acousmatic” in the sound studies sense because the sounds/patterns don’t come from one identifiable cause; they are the emergent properties of an aggregate.”

“Cremation of senses in friendly fire”: on sound and biopolitics (via KMFDM & World War Z)

“In WWZ, the zombie virus is a eugenic tool that weeds out insufficiently “sonic” life, life that is too static to respond to capitalist and biopolitical mandates for calculable motion, variation, and change.” Also, earlier this month, Michael Dunn was sentenced for the murder of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. I’m finding this story gets tagged as “loud music killing” or “loud music verdict”; the tags seem to locate the tragedy of Davis’ murder in his choice of sonic expression, rather than his murderer’s desire to control public space.have public space conform to his expectations.

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