The negative environmental effects of media culture are not often acknowledged: the fuel required to keep huge server farms in operation, landfills full of high tech junk, and the extraction of rare minerals for devices reliant on them are just some of the hidden costs of the contemporary mediascape. Eco-Sonic Media brings an ecological critique to the history of sound media technologies in order to amplify the environmental undertones in sound studies and turn up the audio in discussions of greening the media. By looking at early and neglected forms of sound technology, Jacob Smith seeks to create a revisionist, ecologically aware history of sound media. Delving into the history of pre-electronic media like hand-cranked gramophones, comparatively eco-friendly media artifacts such as the shellac discs that preceded the use of petroleum-based vinyl, early forms of portable technology like divining rods, and even the use of songbirds as domestic music machines, Smith builds a scaffolding of historical case studies to demonstrate how “green media archaeology” can make sound studies vibrate at an ecological frequency while opening the ears of eco-criticism. Throughout this eye-opening and timely book he makes readers more aware of the costs and consequences of their personal media consumption by prompting comparisons with non-digital, non-electronic technologies and by offering different ways in which sound media can become eco-sonic media. In the process, he forges interdisciplinary connections, opens new avenues of research, and poses fresh theoretical questions for scholars and students of media, sound studies, and contemporary environmental history.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
acoustic ambient music American animals argues audio aural broadcast Byrd Byrd’s cage birds called Cambridge CardTalk chapter cinema communication culture dark described devices Diggers divining rod earth eco-sonic media ecological Elder Things electric electronic energy environmental experience exploration film forest Geiger counter global Green Disc H. P. Lovecraft Handbook Hartz Harz Mountain hear Hell on Ice hobbyists human Indian induction balance industry Island Journal Kellogg lac insect listening Little America London Lovecraft material media technologies metal detector miners Mockingbird modern Mountains of Madness natural needles nonhuman performers phonograph records planet planetary plastic play polar popular portable postwar practices produced radio rhabdomancy roller canaries serinette shellac signals Singer singing social song songbirds sonic sound media sound technologies soundscape space species Talking Machine World Thoreau tion treasure hunters University Press Uranium vinyl vocal voice Walden whistle language whistlers whistling Wolfert writes wrote York