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Sonic Intimacy: Voice, Species, Technics (or, How To Listen to the World)

9780804799881: Hardback
Release Date: 21st March 2017

9781503601451: Paperback
Release Date: 1st March 2017

Number of Pages: 144

Edition: 1st Edition

Stanford University Press

Sonic Intimacy: Voice, Species, Technics (or, How To Listen to the World)

Arguing that our ears are far too narrowly attuned to our own species, this book explores different types of voices, both natural and artificial, in the name of helping us to decipher the complex cacophony of an increasingly imperiled planet.

Hardback / £47.00
Paperback / £15.99

Sonic Intimacy asks us who—or what—deserves to have a voice, beyond the human. Arguing that our ears are far too narrowly attuned to our own species, the book explores four different types of voices: the cybernetic, the gendered, the creaturely, and the ecological. Through both a conceptual framework and a series of case studies, Dominic Pettman tracks some of the ways in which these voices intersect and interact. He demonstrates how intimacy is forged through the ear, perhaps even more than through any other sense, mode, or medium. The voice, then, is what creates intimacy, both fleeting and lasting, not only between people, but also between animals, machines, and even natural elements: those presumed not to have a voice in the first place. Taken together, the manifold, material, actual voices of the world, whether primarily natural or technological, are a complex cacophony that is desperately trying to tell us something about the rapidly failing health of the planet and its inhabitants. As Pettman cautions, we would do well to listen.