Dealing with Disaster: Notes towards a decolonizing, aesthetico-relational sound art

Chapter for the Bloomsbury Handbook of Sound Art, edited by Sanne Krogh Groth and Holger Schulze, released February 2020.

In this chapter, I argue for an understanding of sound art as a form of articulation that does not divorce sound from context and meaning, and in turn is attuned to the political and social matter of sonic events. By focusing on specific geopolitical urgencies of the field, I suggest here some possible pathways towards a decolonizing practice of sound art. Attending to the explicit political matter of sound art requires one to understand the notion of “disaster” not as a point fixed in time but rather as an ongoing process which was delegated elsewhere, out of sight and sound. In short, I propose a situating of sound art which places its main focus on the liminal spaces between the materiality of the sonic object and its aesthetico-relational qualities.