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Sounding ruins: reflections on the production of an ‘audio drift’

Gallagher, M (2015) Sounding ruins: reflections on the production of an ‘audio drift’. cultural geographies, 22 (3). pp. 467-485. ISSN 1474-4740

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Abstract

This article is about the use of audio media in researching places, which I term ‘audio geography’. The article narrates some episodes from the production of an ‘audio drift’, an experimental environmental sound work designed to be listened to on a portable MP3 player whilst walking in a ruinous landscape. Reflecting on how this work functions, I argue that, as well as representing places, audio geography can shape listeners’ attention and bodily movements, thereby reworking places, albeit temporarily. I suggest that audio geography is particularly apt for amplifying the haunted and uncanny qualities of places. I discuss some of the issues raised for research ethics, epistemology and spectral geographies.

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