Sterne questions why so little has been researched on sound in a cyberculture context?
My guess is that cyberculture is rooted in a computer mediated environment in which we usually deal with an ‘inter-face’, and how we interact is mainly directed by visual input. The use of sound is therefore in relationship to the image.
Looking at cinema may offer some theoretical support (writings on Robert Bresson for instance, who was a master of sculpting images and sound tracks by the use of silence) but Sterne suggests an epistemic break and ’object construction’, involving a move away from research problems that carry certain assumptions of the institutions in which they were defined.
As an experiment,I have been looking for projects that could potentially break with cinema and TV, that may support Sterne’s challenge.
Tied by the interface of the computer, a map outlines London, based on the (visual) ordnance survey maps. Click and select a sound sample, and the spacial restrictions disappear, instantly moving your mind to London. No visual clues here which would render the sound subordinate, but sheer audio pleasure!
One particular favourite is described as ‘Raindrops and rush of rainwater, thunder, the rain grows more intense, faint birdsong’
And why would this one have any particular visual quality, other than the sound it is attached to?
According to this website,
Mind the Gap is one of their top downloads (this is a US website) This seems linked to a desire to ‘possess’ sound, similarly to downloading images possibly for a ringtone on a mobile phone. American tourists visiting London?