By Jacob Smith

The destructive environmental results of media tradition are usually not usually said: the gasoline required to maintain large server farms in operation, landfills packed with excessive tech junk, and the extraction of infrequent minerals for units reliant on them are only a number of the hidden charges of the modern mediascape. Eco-Sonic Media brings an ecological critique to the background of sound media applied sciences for you to enlarge the environmental undertones in sound reviews and switch up the audio in discussions of greening the media. through taking a look at early and missed sorts of sound expertise, Jacob Smith seeks to create a revisionist, ecologically conscious historical past of sound media. Delving into the historical past of pre-electronic media like hand-cranked gramophones, relatively green media artifacts akin to the shellac discs that preceded using petroleum-based vinyl, early kinds of transportable expertise like divining rods, or even using songbirds as household tune machines, Smith builds a scaffolding of historic case reviews to illustrate how “green media archaeology” could make sound experiences vibrate at an ecological frequency whereas commencing the ears of eco-criticism. all through this eye-opening and well timed publication he makes readers extra conscious of the prices and results in their own media intake by means of prompting comparisons with non-digital, non-electronic applied sciences and by way of supplying other ways within which sound media can develop into eco-sonic media. within the procedure, he forges interdisciplinary connections, opens new avenues of analysis, and poses clean theoretical questions for students and scholars of media, sound reports, and modern environmental history.

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45 Ten years later Max Weber described this phenomenon in his influential book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. ” but instead, “how much must I work in order to earn the wage . . ”46 Indian shellac manufacture was precapitalistic in this regard, and, moreover, it relied on traditional knowledge related to the life cycles of trees and insects. Nonetheless, it resulted in a quintessentially modern material: one of the first mass-marketed plastics. ”47 The situation becomes even more complex when we consider that shellac is a bioplastic that is biodegradable, nontoxic, reusable, and sustainable.

142 We do not need to subscribe to the most apocalyp- Green Discs / 41 tic aspects of Greer’s scenario to appreciate acoustic phonography as a lesson in green media practice. ’” If I had to answer that question with regard to sound media technology, I would begin with the Crapo-phone and not the iPhone. 2. Birdland Melodies A 1971 television commercial begins with an interior view of an open window at night. An orange cat saunters onto the outside windowsill and looks into the room. The next shot reveals the object of the cat’s interest: a yellow canary chirps and hops about in a cage whose door is tantalizingly ajar.

We might pause for a moment to recognize that Girard was producing some of the same effects as the much-heralded digital morphing or computer-generated imagery of our own era, but at a tiny fraction of the energy and labor costs. Girard’s records are eco-sonic because they were made during the low-wattage Green Disc era, but also because they make audible the plasmatic quality of sound and so subtly acknowledge the phonograph network’s reliance on plastic materials and the natural and social support systems required to produce them.

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