Interesting interview with German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk in Frieze mag from last year.
Reminds me of Virilio before he got religious.
When asked how sound technologies have contributed to the state of atmo-terrorism that conditioned the 20th century, he replies in McLuhanist mode that:
“We have created an artificial sound environment that has no parallel in the history of human societies. Until the 19th century, voices had to be produced and perceived in situ – the source of sound had to be quite close to the receiver. It is only through radio technology that the phenomenon of long-range acoustic communication has been made possible and through sonospheric coherence that Postmodern reality is created. World War I was a print war – the mobilization of soldiers could only be achieved through print technology, which is relatively close to radio technology, in that reading means to hear or hallucinate voices from different speakers – for instance, you hear the voice of the German emperor who sent you to the Front. There is constant movement from the Gutenberg world to the radio world: the world of waves and the world of print are systematically linked by a common feature, which, to put it in classical terms, is actio in distans – action at a distance.”
Reading his ‘Terror from the Air’, I’m constantly reminded of Brian Eno’s notion of music as perfume, and that little black Throbbing Gristle Buddha Box I bought a month ago that is like a little toxic air conditioner, oozing bad vibes, staining the ambience.
Anyway, I can’t wait to read Peter Sloterdijk Spheres trilogy when it eventually gets translated, in which he develops his theory of bubbles, globes and foams.