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Acoustic Technics

Don Ihde

Acoustic Technics opens with the 19th century discovery of radiation which exceeds our human bodily perceptual experience, light beyond light, sound beyond sound and on into what today we call the electromagnetic spectrum. Claiming a second scientific revolution through imaging technologies and drawing from both instrumental sensory mediation and animal studies, Acoustic Technics follows listening in its new forms into music, echo-location, infra and ultra-sounds, medical diagnosis, surveillance, and subsurface and interplanetary domains. Synthesized sounds, sonification, in both esoteric and popular technologies such as earbuds, cellphones, television are analyzed from a postphenomenological perspective. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 148Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4985-1923-6 • Hardback • December 2015 • $75.00 • (£49.95)
978-1-4985-1925-0 • Paperback • March 2017 • $39.99 • (£24.95)
978-1-4985-1924-3 • eBook • December 2015 • $37.99 • (£24.95)
Don Ihde is distinguished professor of philosophy, emeritus, at Stony Brook University.
Chapter Five Music: Technologies-Musics-Embodiment
Chapter Six: Synthesizing Sounds
Chapter Seven: Prostheses: Embodying Hearing Devices
Chapter Eight: Listening to Cancer
Chapter Nine: Acoustics below the Surface
Chapter Ten: Multimedia-Multitasking-Multistability
Epilogue: Are we Posthuman?
While Acoustic Technics will be at home on shelves of readers already familiar with his work, it is a book that deserves recognition by a wider readership because the issues he raises concern us all. . . .Ihde draws on more than 40 years of careful thought and reflection about sight and sound in human experience and practice, and extensive and wideranging reading across both arts and sciences. This experience is evident in the breath-taking number of historical figures and topics that are covered within its 148 pages, from prehistoric rock art and Galileo the musician, to modern espionage, big data, and ‘radical’ new ways of detecting cancer cells. One might think that such coverage would lack depth but Ihde’s ability to step back from detail, distill information gained from a lifetime’s experience, and provide a framework within which it is possible to locate and critically examine past, present and (possibly) future technologies, negates any such thought. . . .Acoustic Technics is a slim volume...but it has changed the way I think about technology and it highlights the part we can all play in looking beyond the early hype of new inventions.
Network Review

In Acoustic Technics, Don Ihde provides fascinating insights into the embodied, sensory experience of sound. Unlike the majority of analysis in science and technology studies (STS), that reinforces the visual dominance of science, Ihde’s work has always acknowledged the important role of the other senses in the practice and representation of science. His substantial body of work in the phenomenology of sound has led to this wide-ranging and inspirational book that not only examines the many reasons for the visual dominance of science in the modern era, but amplifies the often hidden and obscure history of embodied sound and multi-sensory tools and experiments. The book is an excellent resource for those working in science studies, technological development, and contemporary music and the arts.
Andrea Polli, Mesa Del Sol Endowed Chair of Digital Media, University of New Mexico

Reading Don Ihde is better than drinking a vintage wine. Not only does he expand your palette and engagement with many different senses, but unlike a wine, you can keep returning to these essays for more and more enjoyment. The wisdom of a career well-spent comes through in the way that, unlike with reading analytical philosophers, he opens up topics and makes you more and more curious about this strange twenty-first century post-phenomenological world of technology, animals and humans.
Trevor Pinch, Goldwin Smith Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Cornell University

In this 'late work' Don Ihde brings his impressive postphenomenological perspective and insights into technics to bear upon how the body experiences sound beyond hearing. He presents his arguments through a dazzling array of examples taken from science, music and media, presented in lucid and always learned prose. Acoustic Technics is a wonderful read and should be read by all those interested in the relationship between sound, body, culture and science.
Michael Bull, Professor of Sound Studies, University of Sussex