"Sounding the Anthropocene: Field Recording and Ideologies of Nature" is a talk that examines how field recording practice has been complicit with ideologies of nature that have led us to our current ecological crisis.
What role does radio have in today's complex world of podcasts, phone apps, and digital broadcasting? Is there still scope for those Utopian ideals that birthed radio in the first place? This talk will examine the history of radio by considering eight transmission technologies, from telegraph to webcast. From this foundation, "radio" will be defined in a novel way, without restriction to any particular technological regime. It will be demonstrated that radio in any form has an important role as an ephemeral and inclusive force, flourishing as "invisible voices in the wind, in thunder, in the dream" (R. Murray Schafer).
Though we commonly describe sound as a wave, a minority viewpoint holds that sound is more properly corpuscular. This concept can be traced back to the atomists, who held that all of nature could be construed as two elements: atom and void. Foremost among these thinkers is Epicurus, who proposed that an infinitesimal "swerve" in the otherwise regular movement of atoms is responsible for all interactions and hence all nature. This paper will illustrate the contemporary relevance of this theory, in light of corpuscular theories of sound, granular synthesis, and the minimal techno of Mika Vainio and Panasonic.