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Sonic Agency as Cognate Energies for Climate Action in Denmark/Greenland & Australia

Project description

Sonic agency within the climate change debate

The anthropological notion of sound, known as ‘sonic agency’, contains sound-making practices of both indigenous peoples addressing environmental issues and urban climate activists. The EU-funded Sounding Crisis project will investigate the concept of sonic agency within the climate change debate as an alternative knowledge of 'energies'. The project will perform innovative research on sound waves as mechanical energy, sound practices of urban climate activists as articulations of the so-called ‘energy unconscious’ and urban examples of the indigenous notion of ‘energy intimacy’ in Australia, Denmark, and Greenland. Sounding Crisis will unveil the continuities and variations of different forms of sonic agency in a synchronic and diachronic perspective, referring to historical protest movements.

Objective

In the face of climate crisis, my project researches the concept of ‘Sonic Agency’ within climate change discourse as an alternative knowledge of ‘energies’. In contrast to the concept of ‘energy’ in sources and systems of fuel and power generation, I understand ‘energies’ as ‘multi-faceted and interrelated phenomena that emit sound and can be listened to in productive ways’. ‘Sonic agency’ is defined as ‘acoustic as well as electronically amplified and transmitted sounds as levers to the senses and creators of potential change’. This anthropological notion of sound encompasses both the sound practices of Indigenous peoples addressing environmental issues as well as urban climate activism and its sound practices across all the sites in which it may be present, such as classical media reports, the a/v in social media, music and street protests, artistic expressions and new techniques and practices. The aim is to unveil the continuities and variations of different forms of ‘sonic agency’. The project is innovative in its understanding of ‘sound’ as an analytical point of access to the complex concept of ‘energies’. It understands sound itself as energies in three ways: (1) Sound waves as mechanical energy, (2) sound practices of urban climate activists as articulations of the so-called ‘energy unconscious’ and (3) as urban examples of the Indigenous’ notion of ‘energy intimacy’. The project will have a synchronic and diachronic perspective, as it also will refer to historic protest movements and the role of ‘sonic agency’ within them. Thus, it aims to provide new insights for enhancing the terminology, methods and theories of Sound Studies and for re-thinking the Western concept of ‘energy’. It combines in an innovative way the two novel approaches of Anthropology of Sound and Sound & Energy Studies to further elaborate the concept of ‘Sonic Agency’ and therefore contributes to the emerging field of Energy Humanities.

Coordinator

KOBENHAVNS UNIVERSITET
Net EU contribution
€ 207 312,00
Address
NORREGADE 10
1165 Kobenhavn
Denmark

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Region
Danmark Hovedstaden Byen København
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Total cost
€ 207 312,00