The soundscape of Anthropocene
Exploring the instrumentality of collaboration and agency in environmental field recordings
Recently, much attention has been paid to the many different forms of collaborative or participatory practice both within, and out with the academy; from practice-based research to theoretical contributions and artistic experimentations. In terms of acoustemology as described by Steven Feld, the creative processes of collaborative soundscaping practices, developed as dialogic editing, produce theories of sound as knowledge production. Within this trend of doing anthropology in sound, sound art works aim to reconnect communities to the environment and indicate the emergence and presence of an ecological and aesthetic co-evolution. Such projects, in fostering interdisciplinary approaches, allow the development of hybrid types of knowledge through dialogic exchanges, and engage multiple agents by developing audile techniques. They also raise interesting questions within collaborative and interdisciplinary creative practice, in relation to the critical examination of the instrumentality of collaboration. By focusing on field recordings and soundscape compositions this paper discusses ecological sound art works that use collaborative creativity, new technologies, and phenomenological listening, to produce dialogic and collaborative forms of epistemic and material equity. These sound art works are the result of complex expressions of creative processes that involve multiple agents, while successfully voice their authorial presence. The interdisciplinary, collaborative and open-ended nature of these projects brings forward the social and political dimension of sound and listening, which could figure in more collaborative forms of knowledge production and inspire climate action.
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