Journal of Sonic Studies
Space, Sound, and the Home(less)
Kevin Toksöz Fairbairn
Following Rosalyn Deutsche, this essay examines how the binary opposition enforced by the boundaries of domesticity enforce containment and enclosure, particularly of excluded bodies, i.e. the homeless. This enclosure, which is read through Henri Lefebvre’s concept of the decorporealization of space, is enforced primarily through a logic of visuality and compartmentalization. This essay proposes sound as a means to counter these states of enclosure. Using concepts of dwelling (Heidegger), weaving (Ingold), and nomadism (Braidotti), a sonic recorporealization is developed through personal, domestic sound art experimentation and instrument building. The results and repercussions are then examined in the context of the singular home, its local community, and society more broadly, wherein sound is proposed as a means to instigate practices of spatial recorporealization.
Nanna Hauge Kristensen
This translated audio piece is a sonic exploration of the everyday life of an elderly woman called Alice. Alice lives in a suburb of Copenhagen. Based on the ways in which she inhabits her home a sonic cartography is unfolding, revealing a close connection between the acoustic environment and her bodily decline.
Telephonic Territories. The Landline Phone As a “Place-Dependent” Sound Technology
Mette Simonsen Abildgaard
A distinguishing feature of the landline telephone is that, in contrast to most phones in use today, it belongs first and foremost to a place. Following the last thirty years of scholarly interest in the wide-ranging implications of mobile telephony, what would happen if we were to pay similar attention to the significance of living with “place-dependent” sound technologies such as the home telephone? In this article, I draw on concepts from the fields of sound studies and science and technology studies (STS) to present the twentieth-century landline telephone as a place-dependent sound technology based on qualitative interviews with Danish landline telephone users. I emphasize several consequences of “place-dependency”: First, that the home becomes an “auditory territory” (LaBelle 2010) where zones of telephonic silence and noise are fixed but also call for continuous negotiations. The notion of territory points us towards the second consequence – that negotiations of ownership become complicated through the landline telephone’s attachment to a household rather than an individual. Third, I consider the implications of the landline telephone’s irreducibility from its surroundings, where it exists as less a solitary technology than an assemblage of the home. Here, I also pay attention to the way immobility for the landline telephone is not a stable concept but is continuously re-negotiated by its users and its own assembled materiality.
Echoes of Subjectivity: A Literary Acoustemology of the Home
This paper works towards an acoustemology of the home by investigating the home’s depiction in a literary text, Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway. This interdisciplinary approach is chosen to explore the potential of tapping into sonic epistemologies encapsulated in literature. Borrowing Brandon LaBelle’s concept of acoustic territories, relationships between notions of home and the auditory are traced in the novel, leading to an analysis that develops the sonic figure of the echo as a micro-epistemology. In a close reading of selected scenes, the aesthetic and philosophical implications are examined and, drawing on Levinas, Irigaray, Nancy, and Deleuze, this text traces how the figure of the echo ultimately provides the structure of the subject as it is constituted in the ethical encounter, in the resonance with an Other. In turn, this analysis reflects on how the conditions of the “feminine” sphere of the home inform conceptualizations of ethics, politics, and philosophy.