Sonic Labor in the Capitalocene


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Holger Schulze:
Sonic Labor in the Capitalocene.
Sound Design between the Silencing Dispositive and a Panacoustic Society
Location

RMIT Melbourne

Time

4:00 – 5:30pm

Abstract

In the 21st century the soundscapes of our everyday lives in pervasively mediatized, globalized, networked and commodified societies of the “Capitalocene” (Moore) or of “Neurocapitalism” (Neidich) are crafted by a sonic workforce of freelancers in project-based employment and of employees in corporate design divisions.

This “Sonic Labor” emerged only more recently, in the last decades, as a genuine offspring of creative labor. As a specimen of labor it relies though mainly on the specifically constituting elements of the sound design-profession. The historical ramifications of this sonic labor can therefore be found in (a) a “Silencing Dispositive” of physical acoustics, (b) a genuine “Economy of Sound”, and (c) the global development of a “Panacoustic Society”.

The talk will introduce this interpretation of contemporary sonic labor, drawing from empirical research at the Sound Studies Lab in a project funded by the German National Research Foundation DFG between 2011-2014, at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Leuphana Universität Lüneburg.