Why There Will Never Be Instagram for Audio @ Sound Ecology (Canada) By Milena Droumeva.
Over the last 13 years I have been involved in acoustic ecology, soundwalking, sound design and research including writing, producing and thinking through sound. In the past five years I’ve also increasingly questioned the role and lessons of acoustic ecology and in particular its applicability to a contemporary instant-gratification, media-driven ‘networked publics’ (Ito et al., 2012) set in metropolitan contexts filled with urban noise pollution alongside carefully crafted consumer sonification. For those of us in sound studies, urban soundscapes and aural ecologies draw the bulk of our attention; the net is presumed to be ’silent’. But is it? The convergence of ubiquitous mobile computing with active social networking has made the online world a highly sensory-rich place with photos, video and audio snippets being used in place of textual communication. The question is, have the aesthetic politics of the smartphone and social networks made us better able to perceive our surroundings visually and aurally? Where does acoustic ecology fit inside the material conditions of new media culture?