Noise viscerality: Navigating relations in a sonic climate

Jennifer C. Hsieh


By hearing and identifying a noise problem, residents in Taiwan transmute the visceral experience of noise in relation to neighbors, the state, and others. In the countryside, in the city, and in the ocean, the challenges of negotiating noise speak to the apprehension of a sonic climate that mediates the limits of a shared, human experience, as well as the possibilities for living with others in spite of those limitations. In these cases, noise acts as a metanarrative device through which social anxieties, technocratic protocols, environmental change, and visceral forms of sensing are brought together to anticipate and enact socialities around sound. An ethic of relating emerges through the efforts of diverse individuals to create a shared sense of community despite differences in embodied experience.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/716554