Gentrification and its displacements have been the focal point of much recent academic and activist praxis. The transformations induced by these economic, social and aesthetic processes have often been understood in relation to the visual. Cafes, delis and restaurants open and abandoned warehouses become galleries, studios and workshops changing the ‘look’ and ‘feel’ of a street; waterfront recreational developments become visible on the landscape; while the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of blogposts and news articles illustrate the transformation of neighbourhoods. This talk will examine the accompanying auditory politics of gentrification with reference to three examples: the noisy ambivalence of music venues in the ‘creative’ city; the use of music as an audio-affective deterrent in privately owned public space; and the sonic disruptions of anti-gentrification protests. It will also introduce the Muzak for Loitering project, a collaboration with Annie Goh. In doing so, the following (practical and speculative) questions will be raised: how does the resistive and displacing noise of gentrification transform our understanding of sound, power and urban space What challenges do the auditory politics of gentrification present to sound studies and the sonic arts? To what extent do they disrupt acoustic ecology’s ‘aesthetic moralism’? How might gentrification be disrupted and resisted through sonic means?
Marie Thompson is a sound-thinker and occasional sound-maker. She is a Lecturer in Media, Sound and Culture at the University of Lincoln, where she is the academic lead of the Extra-Sonic Practice (ESP) research group; a collective of scholars and artists who work with sound in multiple contexts and configurations. Marie has recently published her first monograph, Beyond Unwanted Sound: Noise, Affect and Aesthetic Moralism (Bloomsbury, 2017); and the co-editor of Sound, Music, Affect: Theorizing Sonic Experience. She has also published a number of articles and book chapters on sound/noise and femininity.
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CRiSAP & LCC Sound Arts Visiting Practitioners series 2016-17: weekly talks for current BA, MA and PhD students and staff across UAL.