Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Media, Art, and Text

First Advisor

Dr. Adin E. Lears

Second Advisor

Dr. Mary Caton Lingold

Third Advisor

Stephen Vitiello

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Oliver Speck


This dissertation examines technical interventions into sonic phenomena in the interest of theorizing a “sonic technicity,” drawing specifically upon the critical negativity developed in the work of Theodor W. Adorno and Georges Bataille. This work interrogates the manner in which sound, despite every effort to contain and reproduce it, has evaded rational capture. These efforts of sono-technical intervention, if provoked, offer a counterhistory—an immanent critique—of the presumed subjective-agentive model of man’s relationship to the world. Iterations of sonic technicity emerging from recording and broadcast technology, electronic music, pre-modern techniques of the voice, gothic media, auditory weaponry, and other instances are extrapolated towards a critical process with implications for thinking with sound in aesthetic, cultural, theoretical and political-economic contexts.


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