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date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines how mobile media and sound are experienced and in particular how locative technologies such as GPS can be used for the creative sonification of mobility. The detailed analysis of a piece of mobile sound art combines sound studies and media studies perspectives to frame the ethnographic fieldwork. The headphones worn in the piece act as a form of acoustic picture frame that enables participants to reflect upon their experience of the piece, and also upon their everyday mobile media use such as listening to MP3s or using mobile phones. The chapter argues that participation in the piece creates a new hybrid sonic architecture, one that is temporal, embedded and embodied. Some of the key mobile sound themes articulated in interviews with participants and the artist include the friction experienced between different media and sound spaces, as well as the role of walking and sound for experiencing or controlling interactions with urban space. These themes are discussed in light of Michel de Certeau’s analysis of spatial practices in urban space.

Keywords: mobile sound, mobile media, sound studies, sound art, ethnography, urban space, spatial practices, embodied, sonic experience, auditory culture, mobile phones, GPS, locative media, mobility, sound, listening, walking, headphones

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