Relocating the Ear: A Cross-Cultural Exploration of the Electrified Soundscape
The relationship between the individual and the social environment has undergone a profound alteration over the course of an extremely short period of time. The current patterning of information, the pace at which it is exchanged, and the scale of the communicative network have escalated exponentially following the deployment of modern technological extensions. This exaggeration of information exchange has resulted in a necessary shift in both behaviour and cognition, evidenced by the socio-cultural response to communicative forms involving soundmaking and listening. Consider the thousands of years during which the essence of sound was its ephemerality, and one’s physical presence was required in order to receive its communicative potential. In this setting, sound functioned as not only the primary means of interpersonal and communal communication, but it also created an environment in which the individual was more inclined to negotiate physical space, and their place in time. However, during the last century, the transportability of sound by modern extensions has reconfigured that impulse. By embedding in the present the sounds of the past, and with the experience of remote acoustic environments becoming commonplace, these technologies have altered the manner in which we conceive of time and place.
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