The sound of a YouTube Rhizome

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mapped sound

A geography of sound

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sound strip

On many occasions I take photos with my camera, mobile phone.

This time, however, I thought I would just focus on sound. It is a (poor quality) recording of a cantering lesson my daughter had…

(thanks Phil and Jen for the technical support!)


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sound geography

I was thinking a little bit more in the context of Sterne’s article and how he laments how little ‘sound’ has been considered as a topic of research in the context of digital cultures.

The manipulation of sound, sound sampling for instance, is turning sound into a physical or ‘measured’ object therefore giving it a spacial representation, similar to architecture.In that sense, sounds extends digital geographies.

I would like to use this clip I found on You Tube as an example

YouTube Preview Image


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Sound:mind the gap

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?

YouTube Preview Image

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?

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week 1 – summary

My main challenge for the week was getting to grips with the WordPress platform. Looking at a blank digital canvas is always a creative delight to me, intuitively exploring the features and graphics of the environment.This piecing together is like digital tapestry, a patchwork of choices which are constantly evaluated and evolving.

Martin Hand (2008) gives a detailed outline of digital culture at the broadest level, including the socio-economic and political dimensions. For this I explorerd issues around commodification and consumerism. David Bell (2001) highlights various classifications surrounding story telling and how this relates to definitions of cyberspace. Utopian and dystopian views were illustrated by the film week clips and discussions on Synchtube and Twitter,with additional nominations for the film festival.Clips on language and cyberculture were also selected.

Mark Poster’s article offered my tweet on ‘Spam’ an ethical perspective. This blog (and everyone else’s) seems relentlessly hit by spam. Interestingly spam illustrates the inherent contradiction of mock digital persona vs the sales-driven activity of companies targeting potential customers.

I enjoyed looking back at my own computer interaction history and realised that I could start off illustrating my musical interests (rooted into 80s electronic music) as an accompanying sound board for my blog. The fusion of sound and images is to me the ultimate realisation of deepening an online experience, be it for educational or other purposes. I had a first read of Jonathan Sterne’s article, which will give me scope for exploring soundscapes. The concept of ‘boundaries’ and ‘flatness’ will also be kept in mind.

I continued with the expansion of my Pinterest pinboard for this module’s topic. I also revisted as I thought it would be a useful way to mindmap the interconnected strands of information discussed.

My plan for a visual sound board proves more complex involving online aesthetics and looking at how we engage with online art spaces.

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