Media @ McGill

Urban media and the politics of sound space

Submitted by Susana on

Dr. Jonathan Sterne, Associate Professor in the Department of Art History and Communication Studies, has published an essay entitled “Urban media and the politics of sound space” in the journal Open. The article recently became available on-line through SKOR (Foundation Art and Public Space), a Dutch organization which develops exceptional art projects in relation to public spaces.

Dr. Sterne’s essay deals with Muzak, also known as a ‘nonaggressive music deterrent’ that is used more and more often as a strategic weapon in the effort to make public space ‘safe’ and controllable. According to Dr. Sterne, its use is primarily aimed at excluding non-consumers. He suggests that Muzak is a vital component of urban design and that in addition to aesthetics, sound itself has political and ethical dimensions.

To read Dr. Sterne’s essay online, click here