This recording seeks to examine our sonic relationships with objects: the objects we listen to as well as the objects we listen with. In many ways, I am sonically exploring the propositions put forth by object-oriented philosophers, speculative realists, and actor network theorists such as Bruno Latour, Graham Harman, and Ian Bogost. Are humans and nonhumans on equal ontological footing? Envisioned in sonic phenomena, this altered ontology, one that displaces humans from the center of existence and instead focuses on complex relationships as determining identity, seems especially applicable. Sound, after all, is precisely the result of objects (human and nonhuman alike) colliding, vibrating, and moving in relation to one another.<br/><br/>This recording, therefore, exploits the various subjectivities present in any perception of sound; it highlights the many ears through which contemporary listeners hear. While most recording technologies have sought to minimize their own presence (in much the same way as human researchers and recordists have attempted to remove themselves from data) as a way to present a somehow truer, more objective representation of phenomena, I have instead chosen to present sound that calls attention to itself and its production. In other words, I have called attention to the networked layers of bias (human and nonhuman in relationship with one another) embedded in any sensory experience.
The first feature of this recording to listen for and consider is the
perspective from which you hear wind and automobile traffic.
In this case, instead of using a typical dynamic or condenser
microphone that reproduces the sonic epistemology of the
human ear, I used a contact microphone to hear from the
perspective of a high-mast lighting pole near Interstate Highway
94. The second feature to listen for is noise. Instead of listening
around the noise of this recording, try to consider what Glitch
Theory and New Aesthetic scholars have suggested: think of the
noise/glitch not as a flaw, but as an aesthetic feature. You will
hear hum, hiss, and noise from the use of both the notoriously
noisy XLR input of the Marantz PMD-222 recording onto a Type I
These sounds were recorded in August of 2012 in Fargo, ND,
USA, using the following equipment: Marantz PMD-222 cassette
recorder, a homemade piezo contact microphone affixed to a
high-mast lighting pole with putty. Sound was recorded directly to
a Sony Type I Cassette.