The second chapter of YCTM: Sonic Boom passes from the sonic militarization of outer space to the inner spaces of the psyche. The martial and the spectral interact in the sound unconscious based on a shared stake in the unknown. The ghostly sounds lead us through trauma and adaptation to conspiracy theory, shocked forests, ancestral inquiry, divination, loneliness and catharsis: they are “the encrypted and indescribable secrets of past generations” (1) and the reflections of our own memories and desires. .
Felicia Atkinsonit is The house that Agnès built from his latest album Image language (2022) establishes a dialogue between interior and exterior like the conversation between house and landscape. Accompanying the track is the poetic text SPACE IS AN INSTRUMENT. using space, Stefana Fratilait is I want to leave this Earth, part 2/2 (2022) further speculates on interplanetary weather with a Mars soundscape. Approaching the idea of outer space exploration through the lens of her own experiences with disability, she explains how “science and fiction destabilize social conventions, such as political and gender tropes, by making speculative spaces accessible”.
Sung Tieuit is brain waves is an audio recording of his own brain responding to a simulation of a phenomenon collectively known as Havana Syndrome, used in the making of his work Moving target shadow detection (2022). Discussing Tieu’s work in his essay, Your brain on belliphonic sounds (2022) researcher Pujita Guha elaborates on the larger history and conspiratorial weight of sonic warfare, and “the use of surround sound and sonic violence in covert operations to deny any trace, responsibility or culpability”.
This guilt is discussed in more detail in This forest was built to be bombed by Shock Forest Group (Katya Abazajian, Sheryn Akiki, Daria Kiseleva, Jelger Kroese, Suzanne Gonzo, Nicholas Jaar), compiled during and after their 2019 residency in a former bullet factory at the Hembrug site in Zaandam: surrounded by a forest that was planted for hiding and resisting the effects of heavy artillery. The remains of weapons, lodged in tree trunks, have altered the acoustics of the trees that command the sound piece ENTITY (2019). But according to the researcher and historian of science and colonial botany Chanelle Adams, “Our relationships with plants may never escape human history without impact. Through our narrative inclinations, plants have already been recruited into our drama. The violence of taxonomy, forced migrations, slavery and economies of monoculture are already tangled in the roots. She writes about Julian Yi-Zhong Houit is grass drama (2020), a work of mystical bio-fiction that plays out between plants, intergenerational bonds and inherited addictions. In the accompanying track “Solitaire”, Hou marks the connection between chance-based pastimes like solitaire and smoking being a transmutation of traditional divination practices into capitalist temporalities: “both an indication of struggle and a survival function.
You can‘Trust the Music (YCTM) presented by e-flux is a research project connecting artists, musicians, writers, composers and sound-based writers and exploring how landscape, acoustics and musical thought contribute to the formation social and political structures. It is presented on a platform designed by Knoth&Renner and developed by Knoth&Renner with Jonas Holfeld.
YCTM on e-flux.com is made possible thanks to funding from the Canada Council for the Arts. It is produced by e-flow and developed in partnership with M WOOD, NTT Intercommunication Center (ICC), Liquid Architecture, Kunsthall Trondheimand Infrasonic. This chapter owes special thanks to J.Ayne Wilkinson, Therese Wang, Jamie Ross, Robert Steenkamer, Nasa, Amal Issa, Julieta Arandaand shelter press.
YCTM is organized by Xenia Benivolski.
(1) Colin Davis, “Hauntology, Specters and Ghosts”, in French studiesvolume 59, number 3, July 2005, pp 373. https://doi.org/10.1093/fs/kni143.