Exposition

Audio Acid: Affective Design and the Psychoacoustic Trip (2017)

Ryan LaLiberty
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About this exposition

As a New Age commodity, binaural beat audio comes packed up with the pseudoscientific imagery and discourses of the loose social movement. If this material is to believed, the listener can expect a broad range of effects, from increased sexual prowess to a deeper connection with the infinite cosmos. While refraining from critiquing such claims, this paper explores how affective experience has been –– and is being –– designed and commodified through binaural beat audio, in the interplay of synthesized sound and the sensing body. The affective subjects of binaural beats are positioned across materialities and temporalities, from the psychoacoustic capacities of the body, to the abilities of precision-synthesized sound towards producing the specific microtemporalities of binaural beat audio. This paper will situate these materialities and temporalities historically, with an ear lent to the processes of “crystallization,” to use the language of Bruno Latour, that have cemented binaural beat audio as contemporary media objects.
typeresearch exposition
date07/04/2017
statuspublished
affiliationUniversity of Massachusetts - Amherst
urlhttps://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/291802/291803
published inJournal of Sonic Studies

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