The Order of Sounds

The Order of Sounds: A Sonorous Archipelago

François J. Bonnet

Published by Urbanomic 
May 2016
Translated by Robin Mackay
Paperback 115x175mm
ISBN 
978-0-9930458-7-5

 

Profoundly intimate yet immediately giving onto distant spaces, both an ‘organ of fear’ and an echo chamber of anticipated pleasures, an uncontrollable flow subject to unconscious selection and augmentation, the subtlety, complexity, and variety of modes of hearing has meant that sound has rarely received the same philosophical attention as the visual.

In The Order of Sounds, François J. Bonnet makes a compelling case for the irreducible heterogeneity of ‘sound’, navigating between the physical models constructed by psychophysics and refined through recording technologies, and the synthetic production of what is heard. From primitive vigilance and sonic mythologies to digital sampling and sound installations, he examines the ways in which we make sound speak to us, in an analysis of listening as a plurivocal phenomenon drawing on Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Barthes, Nancy, Adorno, and de Certeau, and experimental pioneers such as Tesla, Bell, and Raudive. Stringent critiques of the ‘soundscape’ and ‘reduced listening’ demonstrate that univocal ontologies of sound are always partial and politicized; for listening is always a selective fetishism, ahallucination of sound filtered by desire and convention, territorialized by discourse and its authorities.

Bonnet proposes neither a disciplined listening that targets sound ‘itself’, nor an ‘ocean of sound’ in which we might lose ourselves, but instead maps out a sonorous archipelago—a heterogeneous set of shifting sonic territories shaped and aggregated by the vicissitudes of desire and discourse.

 

Contents

PREFACE
Peter Szendy - The Otographer

THE GRIP OF SOUND
The Trace of Sound; Imprints; Zone and Metamorphoses; The Grip of Sound

APPREHENDING SOUND
Perceive, Hear, Listen; The Nature of Sound: Phenomenon vs. Event; The Range of Sound; Perception-Continent

FORM AND VOICE OF SOUND
The Sonorous Object; There Is No Reduced Listening; Autonomous Sound; Beliefs and Perceptions

DESIRING-LISTENING AND FETISHISM OF LISTENING
Desiring-Listening; Listening and Fetishism; Beyond Sound; Music and Crystallization; Fiction-Listening

AUTHORITARIAN LISTENING
Discourse and the Anchoring of Sound; Listening, Instrument of Authority and Power; Modelisations; Territorial Logics and Metaphors: The Archipelago; Insularity and Authority

PHONOPHANIES
Extraterritorialities; Oblique Strategies I. The Shifting Sands of the Given-to-be-Heard; Oblique Strategies II. Explosion of the Non-Sign; Sonorous Resistance; Phonophany vs. Apophenia

EPILOGUE

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