Rowman and Littlefield International

Sound Pressure

How Speaker Systems Influence, Manipulate and Torture

By Toby Heys

1 Review

Sound Pressure reveals how speaker systems mounted in public, employment, military and entertainment environments have played a pivotal role in the way that humans have been physiologically and psychologically organised and disciplined throughout the past century.

Ebook ISBN: 9781786611130 Release date: Jul 2019
£24.95 €34.95 $39.95
Hardback ISBN: 9781786611123 Release date: Jul 2019
£80.00 €112.00 $120.00

Series: Media Philosophy

Pages: 232

Monograph

Categories:

Sound Pressure reveals how speaker systems mounted in public, employment, military and entertainment environments have played a pivotal role in the way that humans have been physiologically and psychologically organised and disciplined throughout the past century. The networked Wired Radio speakers of the 1920’s industrialised factory, acoustically anchor a narrative based on the functional utilisation of sound systems for insidious purposes; from the surround-sound techniques of the Waco siege, to the application of sonic torture in Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib. Crucially, Sound Pressure identifies the logic behind the miniaturisation and disappearance of visible sound system technologies as they transmute into the ultrasonic dynamics of the Hypersonic Sound System and covert bone conduction techniques of Whispering Windows. The book charts an evolution of speaker technology that has been, and will be, used to influence, manipulate and torture the collective and isolated body. It amplifies the connections between LRADs, iPods, Mosquitos, Intonarumori, loudhailers, and Sequential Arc Discharge Acoustic Generators - the meta-network of speaker systems through which rhythms and cadences of power are transmitted, connected, and modulated.

Acknowledgements

Foreword: Speakers by Dave Tompkins

Introduction: Frequency-Based Force

Chapter 1: Muzak’s Influence in the Fordist Factory

Chapter 2: Surround Sound Manipulation at the Waco Siege

Chapter 3: Torture in Black Ecstasy at Guantánamo Bay

Chapter 4: The Covert Aims of Directional Ultrasound

Chapter 5: Whispering to Talking Windows

Conclusion: Phantom Sound Systems

Bibliography

Toby Heys is a Reader in Digital Technologies at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is also an affiliate researcher within Hexagram in Montreal, Canada. He is a member of the sonic research unit AUDINT, which produces art installations, vinyl records, performances, and books such as the upcoming Unsound:Undead anthology on Univocal.

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1 Review

A compelling account of a mutating, planetary network of speaker systems, and their complicity in cybernetic societies of control.

Steve Goodman, Author of ‘Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect and the Ecology of Fear’

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