Voicing the Nonhuman: Exploring the Affectual Relationship of Sonification


  • Lauren Knight University of Toronto


Sonification can translate ecological and social changes into audible formats, yet little scholarship has explored the ways in which this process stands in place as ‘voice’ in communication. On one hand, sonification grants the listener an ability to understand their ecological environment in ways that may have been previously unable; however, this process relies on data extraction through a largely humanistic lens. I question, what happens affecutally in the process of voicing extracted data? How does this impact our relationship to place, self, and environment? What might a decolonial perspective on listening to the nonhuman offer in conversation with sonification projects? This exploratory paper considers the concept of voice through sonification within three case studies – NASA’s Perseus Black Hole, PlantWave, and Sonic Kayaks.