The rise of digital media over the last few decades has dramatically changed the way in which we make and consume sound within the contexts of our everyday lives.
Whether we play ongoing music streams at home, freely reassemble audible objects with the help of our computers, listen to a diverse range of prerecorded sounds on the move, or find ourselves subjected to continuous sound in every arena of the public sphere, the advent of digital media has led to an unprecedented mobilization of sound as much as it has raised fundamental questions about existing structures of attention.
Kevin Murphy, chair of the department of history of art, is among the respondents at a two-day conference (November 14-15) on the art of listening: Soundscapes: Hearing in the Age of Digital Media. Murphy will respond to “Ubiquitous Listening and Distributed Subjectivity” delivered by Anahid Kassabin, School of Music, University of Liverpool, on November 14 at 10 a.m. in the First Amendment Center.
While some critics argue that listeners have greater freedom and autonomy today than ever before, others think that today’s digital soundscapes overwhelm and stupefy the human ear. Either way, listening today is not what it used to be. Recent media changes have reshaped how we attend to sound and music, and we need new vocabularies to study and evaluate how those changes have altered our sense of hearing and the importance of sound in contemporary art, entertainment, politics, and knowledge production.
The conference includes a tour of Ocean Way Nashville Recording Studio. Cosponsored by the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy and the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies, the conference will be held at the First Amendment Center, 1207 18th Avenue South (Thursday, November 14), and the Curb Center, 1801 Edgehill Avenue (Friday, November 15).