Eco-Sonic Media by Jacob Smith

By Jacob Smith

The destructive environmental results of media tradition will not be frequently said: the gasoline required to maintain large server farms in operation, landfills filled with excessive tech junk, and the extraction of infrequent minerals for units reliant on them are only many of the hidden bills of the modern mediascape. Eco-Sonic Media brings an ecological critique to the heritage of sound media applied sciences to be able to enlarge the environmental undertones in sound stories and switch up the audio in discussions of greening the media. by way of taking a look at early and missed sorts of sound expertise, Jacob Smith seeks to create a revisionist, ecologically conscious historical past of sound media. Delving into the historical past of pre-electronic media like hand-cranked gramophones, relatively green media artifacts equivalent to the shellac discs that preceded using petroleum-based vinyl, early varieties of moveable know-how like divining rods, or even using songbirds as household tune machines, Smith builds a scaffolding of ancient case reviews to illustrate how “green media archaeology” could make sound reports vibrate at an ecological frequency whereas beginning the ears of eco-criticism. all through this eye-opening and well timed publication he makes readers extra conscious of the prices and outcomes in their own media intake by way of prompting comparisons with non-digital, non-electronic applied sciences and by way of supplying alternative ways within which sound media can turn into eco-sonic media. within the approach, he forges interdisciplinary connections, opens new avenues of analysis, and poses clean theoretical questions for students and scholars of media, sound reports, and modern environmental history.

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105 The big record producers worked with a number of different organizations in the pursuit of scrap. They made agreements with theater operators so that patrons could pay admission in old records. They worked with urban ballrooms to host “disc nights,” where customers were given credit for old records. 106 Civic groups such as the Boy Scouts, the Red Cross, and the American Legion joined the drive as well. 5 million members of the American Legion and the Women’s American Legion Auxiliary were canvasing the nation as part of “the greatest record hunt in history”: “Corn cribs, set up on street corners in small Kansas towns, bulged with old phonograph records .

82 We have grown accustomed to the idea that playback of a CD or MP3 file is the same every time we hear it, but the act of selecting and replacing the needle marked each playback as a unique sonic performance and one that always inflicted damage to the disc. The damage wrought by hard steel needles was easy to perceive: if the needle was too sharp, it would dig down into the bottom of the groove; if it was too blunt and wide, it would deform the sides of the groove. 84 Listeners who wanted to maximize the frequency of playback and minimize the damage to their records had two alternatives to the destructive steel needles.

12 Some birds learn their vocalizations in a manner similar to the human acquisition of language. Biologist W. ”14 Not all species of birds have the same ability to learn. Some make their species-specific vocalizations even if they are deafened soon after birth, suggesting that little or no learning takes place. Others have a critical period during which they learn 46 / Chapter Two the only song that they will ever sing. 15 Humans have developed techniques for intervening in the learning process of open ended–learner birds.

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