Karin Bijsterveld

Karin Bijsterveld is Professor of Science, Technology, and Modern Culture at the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

  • Mechanical Sound

    Mechanical Sound

    Technology, Culture, and Public Problems of Noise in the Twentieth Century

    Karin Bijsterveld

    Tracing efforts to control unwanted sound—the noise of industry, city traffic, gramophones and radios, and aircraft—from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century.

    Since the late nineteenth century, the sounds of technology have been the subject of complaints, regulation, and legislation. By the early 1900s, antinoise leagues in Western Europe and North America had formed to fight noise from factories, steam trains, automobiles, and gramophones, with campaigns featuring conferences, exhibitions, and “silence weeks.” And, as Karin Bijsterveld points out in Mechanical Sound, public discussion of noise has never died down and continues today. In this book, Bijsterveld examines the persistence of noise on the public agenda, looking at four episodes of noise and the public response to it in Europe and the United States between 1875 and 1975: industrial noise, traffic noise, noise from neighborhood radios and gramophones, and aircraft noise. She also looks at a twentieth-century counterpoint to complaints about noise: the celebration of mechanical sound in avant-garde music composed between the two world wars. Bijsterveld argues that the rise of noise from new technology combined with overlapping noise regulations created what she calls a “paradox of control.” Experts and politicians promised to control some noise, but left other noise problems up to citizens. Aircraft noise, for example, measured in formulas understandable only by specialists, was subject to public regulation; the sounds of noisy neighborhoods were the responsibility of residents themselves. In addition, Bijsterveld notes, the spatial character of anti-noise interventions that impose zones and draw maps, despite the ability of sound to cross borders and boundaries, has helped keep noise a public problem. We have tried to create islands of silence, she writes, yet we have left a sea of sounds to be fiercely discussed.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00
    • Paperback $40.00 £32.00

Contributor

  • Sound as Popular Culture

    Sound as Popular Culture

    A Research Companion

    Jens Gerrit Papenburg and Holger Schulze

    Scholars consider sound and its concepts, taking as their premise the idea that popular culture can be analyzed in an innovative way through sound.

    The wide-ranging texts in this book take as their premise the idea that sound is a subject through which popular culture can be analyzed in an innovative way. From an infant's gurgles over a baby monitor to the roar of the crowd in a stadium to the sub-bass frequencies produced by sound systems in the disco era, sound—not necessarily aestheticized as music—is inextricably part of the many domains of popular culture. Expanding the view taken by many scholars of cultural studies, the contributors consider cultural practices concerning sound not merely as semiotic or signifying processes but as material, physical, perceptual, and sensory processes that integrate a multitude of cultural traditions and forms of knowledge.

    The chapters discuss conceptual issues as well as terminologies and research methods; analyze historical and contemporary case studies of listening in various sound cultures; and consider the ways contemporary practices of sound generation are applied in the diverse fields in which sounds are produced, mastered, distorted, processed, or enhanced. The chapters are not only about sound; they offer a study through sound—echoes from the past, resonances of the present, and the contradictions and discontinuities that suggest the future.

    Contributors Karin Bijsterveld, Susanne Binas-Preisendörfer, Carolyn Birdsall, Jochen Bonz, Michael Bull, Thomas Burkhalter, Mark J. Butler, Diedrich Diederichsen, Veit Erlmann, Franco Fabbri, Golo Föllmer, Marta García Quiñones, Mark Grimshaw, Rolf Großmann, Maria Hanáček, Thomas Hecken, Anahid Kassabian, Carla J. Maier, Andrea Mihm, Bodo Mrozek, Carlo Nardi, Jens Gerrit Papenburg, Thomas Schopp, Holger Schulze, Toby Seay, Jacob Smith, Paul Théberge, Peter Wicke, Simon Zagorski-Thomas

    • Hardcover $45.00 £38.00
  • Sonic Interaction Design

    Sonic Interaction Design

    Karmen Franinović and Stefania Serafin

    An overview of emerging topics, theories, methods, and practices in sonic interactive design, with a focus on the multisensory aspects of sonic experience.

    Sound is an integral part of every user experience but a neglected medium in design disciplines. Design of an artifact's sonic qualities is often limited to the shaping of functional, representational, and signaling roles of sound. The interdisciplinary field of sonic interaction design (SID) challenges these prevalent approaches by considering sound as an active medium that can enable novel sensory and social experiences through interactive technologies. This book offers an overview of the emerging SID research, discussing theories, methods, and practices, with a focus on the multisensory aspects of sonic experience.

    Sonic Interaction Design gathers contributions from scholars, artists, and designers working at the intersections of fields ranging from electronic music to cognitive science. They offer both theoretical considerations of key themes and case studies of products and systems created for such contexts as mobile music, sensorimotor learning, rehabilitation, and gaming. The goal is not only to extend the existing research and pedagogical approaches to SID but also to foster domains of practice for sound designers, architects, interaction designers, media artists, product designers, and urban planners. Taken together, the chapters provide a foundation for a still-emerging field, affording a new generation of designers a fresh perspective on interactive sound as a situated and multisensory experience.

    Contributors Federico Avanzini, Gerold Baier, Stephen Barrass, Olivier Bau, Karin Bijsterveld, Roberto Bresin, Stephen Brewster, Jeremy Coopersotck, Amalia De Gotzen, Stefano Delle Monache, Cumhur Erkut, George Essl, Karmen Franinović, Bruno L. Giordano, Antti Jylhä, Thomas Hermann, Daniel Hug, Johan Kildal, Stefan Krebs, Anatole Lecuyer, Wendy Mackay, David Merrill, Roderick Murray-Smith, Sile O'Modhrain, Pietro Polotti, Hayes Raffle, Michal Rinott, Davide Rocchesso, Antonio Rodà, Christopher Salter, Zack Settel, Stefania Serafin, Simone Spagnol, Jean Sreng, Patrick Susini, Atau Tanaka, Yon Visell, Mike Wezniewski, John Williamson

    • Hardcover $55.00 £45.00