Expanded listening Beyond the Anthropocene. Sensing more-than-human Networks through sonification and radio art
Expanded Listening can mean the exploration of the limits of human sensory perception, and it can mean paying attention to silence and silencing, to untold or forgotten stories, perspectives and knowledges that fall out of dominant modes of historicising. And yet it can also mean expanding perspectives by considering listening from a more-than-human position. In this way, more-than-human bodies and matter are recognised as receptive and responsive.
Expanding Radio defines radio not simply as a form of broadcast and communications technology, but as an elemental and geological media that functions across species and scales. This includes large and small non-anthropogenic signals, such as the natural radio caused by lightning strikes, solar winds, the auroras and meteors, and also smaller transmissions like natural radioactivity, or the frequencies made by bees’ vibration pollination tactics, and even photosynthesis, which occurs when molecular antennae in plants respond to the sun’s radiation. I include magnetoreception and biomagnetism within this expanded framework – many migratory species use biogenic magnetite crystals as a navigational technique by sensing the Earth’s geomagnetic sphere. These are just some examples for thinking through the materiality and scale of more-than-human transmission and reception.
More-than-human Radio Ecologies is a project that brings these two concepts together whilst simultaneously situating itself within three fields: academically within critical discourses of the anthropocene, aiming to move constructively beyond it; politically within the act of listening, as a tool for ecological awareness, resistance, sustainability and care; and artistically, culturally and sensorially within practices of radio (art), which generate sites for trans‐scalar awareness, and physical‐auditory‐aesthetic experience. This project recognises the value of different modes of knowledge production and therefore combines academic and artistic practices, whilst explicitly using radio (art) as a research method.
Doctoral project within the research group SENSING. The Knowledge of Sensitive Media.