Nomic Sound

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DOI: 10.3898/NEWF:98.10.2019

This article pays attention to the media channels through which different modes of power flow, and specifically to how they sound. The soundscapes of real and fictional control rooms provide a way of understanding the connection between automation, decision-making and politics. The types of sounds that accompany control rooms screens map onto alternative, at times contradictory, interpretations of the ontological status of computation and data visualisations. As a result, both biopolitical and sovereign modes of power seem to coexist, with human control room operators making decisions whose actual significance is difficult to measure. The control room is therefore a key manifestation of a general contemporary anxiety about dematerialisation, virtualisation and information overload, and about the political problems that they entail. 

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98: Automation Anxiety