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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