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Sonic Agency

Sonic Agency: Sound and Emergent Forms of Resistance

Sonic Agency: Sound and Emergent Forms of Resistance

Brandon LaBelle, Goldsmiths Press, University of London

Goldsmiths Press from University of London publishes Sonic Agency: Sound and Emergent Forms of Resistance by author Brandon LaBelle on February 15, 2018.

In a world dominated by the visual, could contemporary resistance be auditory? Sonic Agency highlights sound’s invisible, disruptive, and affective qualities, and asks whether the unseen nature of sound can support a political transformation.

In this timely and important book, author 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.

The author 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. By examining the experience of listening and being heard, LaBelle illuminates a path from the margins toward hope, citizenship, and vibrancy. When the current climate has left many feeling they have lost their voice, it may be sound itself which restores it to them.

About the Sonics Series

Goldsmiths Press’s Sonics series considers sound as media and as material – as physical phenomenon, social vector, or source of musical affect. The series maps the diversity of thinking across the sonic landscape, from sound studies to musical performance, from sound art to the sociology of music, from historical soundscapes to digital musicology. Its publications encompass books and extensions to traditional formats that might include audio, digital, online and interactive formats. We seek to publish leading figures as well as emerging voices, by commission or by proposal.

"Sonic Agency presents a passionate attempt at thinking through questions of the emergence of publics and counterpublics – of coming together in a world that isolates us."

- Nora Sternfeld, Aalto University

"With poignant examples, philosophical acumen, and palpable care, Sonic Agency probes the depth of sound in social life for what it can humanly (and non-humanly) do, helping readers understand the politics of the always audible but rarely heard."

- Deborah Kapchan, New York University

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About Brandon LaBelle

Brandon LaBelle is Professor of New Media in the Faculty of Fine Art, Music, and Design at the University of Bergen, Norway. His research and work has for many years concentrated on auditory concepts and materiality as the basis for constituting a self-organized and open culture, resulting in a range of artistic, theoretical, and collaborative initiatives.