Sound and Resistance in Damon Krukowski’s ‘Ways of Hearing’

Will Meyer at The Baffler:

Contemporary technological anxiety—when not directed towards the internet wholesale—is just as often pitched against sound. We’ve recently started to ask what platform monopolies are doing to the quality of music, or whether Amazon is killing record (and book) stores, or if podcasts are further ensnaring us online, destroying our private thoughts. It’s enough, given his pedagogical wisdom, to make us wonder: What would Berger say?—about earbuds or streambait pop.

To that end, musician and author Damon Krukowski launched a podcast, and now a book, that nods in Berger’s direction. Ways of Hearing is a slim work, really a blown-out podcast script, beautifully designed and illustrated, which takes readers on an admirably reported tour of sound from analog to digital, from 1960s New York to our era of “hyper-gentrification,” all the while considering the relation between noise and power. And, crucially, Krukowski doesn’t privilege a hierarchy between digital and analog but contests it by appreciating—that is, paying attention to—their material differences. All the better to apprehend the political systems that arrange what we hear in the world.

more here.