Cultures of sound have long been intertwined with cultures of war. The vocoder, originally developed to disguise military communications, found its way into popular culture through the work of Moog, Kraftwerk, Grandmaster Flash, Stevie Wonder, 2Pac and Daft Punk among others. In aerially assaulted settlements across the Middle-East and Asia, the sound of bombing, inseparable from everyday life, is sold as entertainment – with games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops earning over $1 Billion in worldwide sales.
In the development of weapons, sound (and music) forms part of the US repertoire of “advanced interrogation” (or torture) techniques, while in the UK’s urban wars Compound Security produces the high-frequency Mosquito device to exclude young people from public space; a device re-invented by young people as the Teen Buzz – a downloadable, Bluetooth-able, sound file that produces a continuous high-pitched sound to target adult authority
Through a series of talks and installations, performances and a film screening this symposium will explore these and other cultures of sound as connected to unending war.
Participants include, Les Back (Goldsmiths), Michael Bull (Sussex), Ludo Foster (Sussex), Michael Guida (Sussex), Malcolm James (Sussex), Thanos Polymeneas-Liontiris (Sussex), Nirmal Puwar (Goldsmiths), Lyn Thomas (Sussex), Cuthbert Williams (Brighton and Hove Black History).