Brandon LaBelle

Brandon LaBelle is Professor in New Media in the Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design at the University of Bergen. He is the author of Lexicon of the Mouth: Poetics and Politics of Voice and the Oral Imaginary, Diary of an Imaginary Egyptian, Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life, and Background Noise: Perspectives on Sound Art.

  • Sonic Agency

    Sonic Agency

    Sound and Emergent Forms of Resistance

    Brandon LaBelle

    A timely exploration of whether sound and listening can be the basis of political change.

    In a world dominated by the visual, could contemporary resistances be auditory? This timely and important book from Goldsmiths Press highlights sound's invisible, disruptive, and affective qualities and asks whether the unseen nature of sound can support a political transformation. In Sonic Agency, Brandon LaBelle sets out to engage contemporary social and political crises by way of sonic thought and imagination. He divides sound's functions into four figures of resistance—the invisible, the overheard, the itinerant, and the weak—and argues for their role in creating alternative “unlikely publics” in which to foster mutuality and dissent. He highlights existing sonic cultures and social initiatives that utilize or deploy sound and listening to address conflict, and points to their work as models for a wider movement. He considers issues of disappearance and hidden culture, nonviolence and noise, creole poetics, and networked life, aiming to unsettle traditional notions of the “space of appearance” as the condition for political action and survival.

    By examining the experience of listening and being heard, LaBelle illuminates a path from the fringes toward hope, citizenship, and vibrancy. In a current climate that has left many feeling they have lost their voices, it may be sound itself that restores it to them.

    • Hardcover $30.00 £25.00

Contributor

  • VOICE

    VOICE

    Vocal Aesthetics in Digital Arts and Media

    Norie Neumark, Ross Gibson, and Theo van Leeuwen

    Perspectives on the voice and technology, from discussions of voice mail and podcasts to reflections on dance and sound poetry.

    Voice has returned to both theoretical and artistic agendas. In the digital era, techniques and technologies of voice have provoked insistent questioning of the distinction between the human voice and the voice of the machine, between genuine and synthetic affect, between the uniqueness of an individual voice and the social and cultural forces that shape it. This volume offers interdisciplinary perspectives on these topics from history, philosophy, cultural theory, film, dance, poetry, media arts, and computer games. Many chapters demonstrate Lewis Mumford's idea of the “cultural preparation” that precedes technological innovation—that socially important new technologies are foreshadowed in philosophy, the arts, and everyday pastimes. Chapters cover such technologies as voice mail, podcasting, and digital approximations of the human voice. A number of authors explore the performance, performativity, and authenticity [(or 'authenticity effect') of voice in dance, poetry, film, and media arts]; while others examine more immaterial concerns—the voice's often-invoked magical powers, the ghostliness of disembodied voices, and posthuman vocalization. [The chapters evoke an often paradoxical reassertion of the human in the use of voice in mainstream media including recorded music, films, and computer games.

    Contributors Mark Amerika, Isabelle Arvers, Giselle Beiguelman, Philip Brophy, Ross Gibson, Brandon LaBelle, Thomas Levin, Helen Macallan, Virginia Madsen, Meredith Morse, Norie Neumark, Andrew Plain, John Potts, Theresa M. Senft, Nermin Saybasili, Amanda Stewart, Axel Stockburger, Michael Taussig, Martin Thomas, Theo van Leeuwen, Mark Wood

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00