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Sounds From Dangerous Places: Sonic Journalism | Peter Cusack

‘What can we learn of dangerous places by listening to their sounds?’

‘Sonic Journalism’ is the aural equivalent of photojournalism. It describes the practice where field recordings play a major role in the discussion and documentation of places, issues and events and where listening to sounds of all kinds strongly informs the approach to research and following narratives whilst on location.

Peter Cusack: Recent travels have brought me into contact with some difficult and potentially dangerous places. Most are areas of major environmental/ecological damage, but others are nuclear sites or the edges of military zones. The danger is not necessarily to a short-term visitor, but to the people of the area who have no option to leave or through the location’s role in geopolitical power structures. Dangerous places can be both sonically and visually compelling, even beautiful and atmospheric. There is, often, an extreme dichotomy between an aesthetic response and knowledge of the ‘danger’, whether it is pollution, social injustice, military or geopolitical.

Places visited include:

Chernobyl exclusion zone, Ukraine;

Caspian oil fields, Azerbaijan;

Tigris and Euphrates rivers valleys in South Eastern Turkey threatened by massive dam building projects;

North Wales, UK, where Chernobyl fallout still affects sheep farming practice; nuclear, military and greenhouse gas sites in the UK, including Sellafield, Dungeness, Bradwell, Sizewell, Thetford Forest, Rainham and Uttlesford

Hear some samples from Chernobyl HERE

All text and Images via Sounds From Dangerous Places

Art/Aesthetics · Earthly/Geo/Astro · Social/Politics · Theory

Supply Lines | Visions of Global Resource Circulation, Research Project 2011-2012

Cotton production, India. Courtesy of Uwe H. Martin

Niger Delta States. Courtesy of George Osodi.

SUPPLY LINES brings visual practitioners with notable bodies of previous work on globalization together with theorists working in areas of spatial culture, geography, art history and cultural theory to critically examine concepts of resource extraction, use, circulation, and representation. It furthermore forges a collaborative and interdisciplinary mode of geographical knowledge production, with the ultimate intent of stimulating ongoing research, education and public interest in the common use of limited resources. In addition to reframing resources, in other words, Supply Lines seeks to reposition the public’s relation to them. In so doing, it aspires to contribute to participatory, community-oriented models of society, which are increasingly crucial as resource conflicts intensify.

This visual research project explores human interactions with natural resources (e.g., water, oil, silver) and the spatial and social relations ensuing from them. Rather than understanding resources as fixed or externally given, the project conceives of them as collectively produced and able to mobilize and interrelate diverse areas with one another: geographically, historically, economically, and culturally. With growing consciousness about the global limitation and unsustainability of vital resources, there is an urgent need for new means of representation to convey the complexity of such social, geopolitical, ecosystemic and climatic relations. This project’s development of new visual and theoretical material aims to contribute to expanding the notion of “resource” from a hitherto primarily economic-industrial domain toward an aesthetic-cultural context.

Text via Geobodies
Images via Gasworks