ABSTRACT

Working from a phenomenological position, the author investigates “in-head” acoustic localization in the context of the historical development of modern listening. Starting from the development of the stethoscope in the early 19th century, he traces novel techniques for generating space within the body and extrapolates from them into contemporary uses of headphones in sound art. The first half of the essay explores the history, techniques and technology of “in-head” acoustics; the second half presents three sound artists who creatively generate headphone spatializations. The essay ends with reflections on how these sound “imaging” techniques topologically shape our subjectivities.

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