On Sonic Remediation; or, the Art of Sounding Sustainable

Plastic Pipe extending into pavings

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Professor Sherry Lee (University of Toronto)

Brought to you by the Climate Crisis Thinking in the Humanities and Social Sciences Network.

In our era of perpetual, institutionalized ecological violence, environmental catastrophe is too often framed solely by the scientific-bureaucratic discourse of remediation, positing the removal of industrial contaminants from the environment as a corporate good. The environmental humanities have sought to intervene in this conventional view, in part turning attention to forms of cultural production––art, literature, film––that address the realities of living alongside those industrial and technological interests that mediate intersections of environment and culture. Yet what about music; what might remediation mean in a realm as immaterial and intangible as the sonic? Similarly, given the frequency with which sustainability discourses revolve around concerns for physical resources, what can anything so insubstantial and ephemeral as sound have to do with sustainability? In posing questions of remediation and sustainability in sonic terms, this talk considers the potential for aesthetic sounding practices and sound epistemologies to contribute to critical humanities discourses of environment; it queries the the ambiguous roles of creative, sounding, and listening in reimagining ecological violence, recuperation, and new relations.

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Please note, both in-person and online tickets are available. As refreshments will be provided, please only book an in-person ticket if you are sure that you will be able to attend