ACOUSTIC OBJECTiveS. Assembling A Methodological Toolbox

Workshop, 5.–6.11.2020, Department for Media Studies, University of Regensburg, Germany
Deadline: 28.2.2020

Organizers and Contact: Dr. Laura Niebling (, Dr. Solveig Ottmann ( 

A violin in a concert hall, a sonar in the wide, open sea, a television set in a living room or an ambulance siren in a busy city: when (media) objects are placed in a location, many of them resonate sonically within a given space. Their signals can be measured, documented and discussed as cultural signifiers. And while the nature of acoustic objects, spaces and signals has a broad variety, they are connected through a question of purpose. When acoustic objects emanate sound, this sound is most often designed to go somewhere, in many cases even somewhere specific. How to approach this directionality within a broader framework of media objects is the central theme of the workshop ACOUSTIC OBJECTIVES.

The questions of acoustics, objects and space are central to the history of media studies, particularly the Toronto school’s discussion of acoustic and visual space (cf. Williams 1955, Carpenter/McLuhan 1967, McLuhan/McLuhan 1988). Marshall McLuhan argued that the "eclipse of the machine” (Winner 1977:193) in the 20th century had brought back the acoustic space defined by a “complicated tissue of events in which connections of different kinds alternate or overlap or combine” (McLuhan/McLuhan 1988: 40). But what tools can be used to methodologically frame objects, spaces and acoustic movements in order to understand aspects of this ‘complicated tissue’ and the nature of an ‘acoustic space’? 

You can find the full CfP here.