Author Topic: "Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect and the Ecology of Fear"  (Read 4285 times)

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Offline Deca

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"Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect and the Ecology of Fear"
« on: September 14, 2011, 09:55:11 pm »
TI`s are differently victims of sonic warfare
PDF of book here

Steve Goodman's "Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect and the Ecology of Fear"
Geeta Dayal | Wed Jan 6th, 2010 1

Cover of Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear by Steve Goodman

In Krystof Wodiczko's striking installation Out of Here: The Veterans Project, currently on view at the ICA in Boston, choppers roar overhead. People scream in the distance. Glass breaks and shatters on the floor. The viewer can see almost nothing; the large room is dark, except for a few windows high above, created by a row of video projections. The view from these windows is obscured; the piece is as much about what you can't see than what you do see. But even more importantly, the piece is about what you hear--and what you can't hear. The chants of an imam become the sounds of women wailing. Gunshots begin to fire sporadically. Military officers yell harsh commands. The rumble of bass—a swarm of Humvees in the distance, drawing closer—gets louder and more threatening. The longer you stay in the room, immersed in the increasing racket, the more palpable the sense of dread becomes. The harrowing sounds of war are not simply about the sounds themselves, but the spaces in between.

In the intriguing new book Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear [MIT Press], Steve Goodman explores the power of sound as a tactic of irritation, intimidation, or even permanent harm. Goodman analyzes "environments, or ecologies, in which sound contributes to an immersive atmosphere or ambience of fear and dread--where sound helps produce a bad vibe."

Goodman catalogs a litany of military uses of sound that seem like sinister science fiction fantasies. The "Urban Funk Campaign" was a suite of audio harassment techniques used by the military in Vietnam in the early 1970s. One such technique was called "The Curdler,” or “People Repeller,” a panic-inducing oscillator with the ability to cause deafening impact at short distances. The Windkanone, or "Whirlwind Cannon," was a sonic weapon planned by the Nazis. The “Ghost Army” was a unit of the U.S. Army in World War II that impersonated other units to fake out the enemy, employing an array of sonic deception techniques with the help of engineers from Bell Labs. "The Scream" was an acoustic weapon used by the Israeli military against protesters in 2005. That same year, the Israeli air force deployed deafening sonic booms over the Gaza Strip—producing powerful physiological and psychological effects. "Its victims likened its effect to the wall of air pressure generated by a massive explosion," Goodman writes. "They reported broken windows, ear pain, nosebleeds, anxiety attacks, sleeplessness, hypertension, and being left ‘shaking inside.’ "

The physiological effects of sound get an extended discussion via the concept of infrasound, or sub-20 Hz bass frequencies, which are legendary for inducing bodily harm. Fantastical tales about infrasound and its infamous effects on the human body abound in popular lore. Infrasound devices generally require huge, heavy rigs to produce such powerful waves, which limit their practicality. One of the book's most fascinating accounts is the story of the wily scientist Vladimir Gavreau, who did bizarre experiments with infrasonic waves in his French laboratory in the 1960s. According to Goodman, one such experiment caught Gavreau and his team in a “vibratory “envelope of death,” where they “allegedly suffered sustained internal spasms as their organs hit critical resonance frequencies.” Goodman seizes upon these outer limits of sound - infrasound at the low end, and ultrasound at the high end - and explores them extensively. For him, infrasound and ultrasound, at the edges of our range of perception - illustrate the “unsound,” as he terms it, the “not yet audible.”

Freakish military devices like "The Curdler" may seem like footnotes of the historical record--curiosities from wars staged in far-flung lands. But these devices also hit close to home. Last September, police in Pittsburgh utilized a device known as the LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device) cannon against G20 protesters -- the first documented use of one of these acoustic cannons against civilians in the United States. At top volume, the cannon is capable of emitting high-pitched warning tones at 146 decibels -- loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage.

Offline Deca

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Re: "Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect and the Ecology of Fear"
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2011, 10:10:38 am »
more from Steve Goodman's "Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect and the Ecology of Fear"

“Ghost Army” was the nickname given to a division of the U.S. Army, the
Twenty- Third Special Troops, stationed in Europe during World War II. They
consisted of artists deployed in the fabrication of camouflage and fake inflatable
equipment, and sound and radio engineers using equipments pioneered at Bell
Labs. The Ghost Army’s aims were to trick the enemy into reacting against the
presence of a non-existent phantom army using the sounds of troops, tanks, and
landing craft, allowing the actual troops to manoeuvre elsewhere. In addition to
the Ghost Army, Division  was working on a joint army- navy project based on
“The Physiological and Psychological Effects on Men in Warfare,”
research orchestrated
by Bell Telephone Labs and consisting of physiologists and sound engineers,
including the inventor (Harold Burris- Meyer) of the new stereophonic
system that made possible the recording of music for Walt Disney’s Fantasia. In a
short excerpt of archive footage from an army training film during World War II,
an engineer is shown cutting a “dubplate” of sound effects such as bulldozers,
the construction of a bridge, and an armoured column of troops. The records
were then fi led at a library at the Army Experimental Station and rerecorded in
sequence onto wire. The engineer is filmed mixing down a soundtrack onto a
wire recording using three turntables.
This sonic deception involved the generation and distribution of sounds to
produce the sonic experience of the battlefield in order to confuse, mislead, or
distract the enemy. Blending actual recordings and artificially generated noise,
it was targeted at the enemies’ ears and listening devices. The less effective the
enemy’s visual capabilities, the more powerful sonic deception could be.
concealment by smoke or the dark of night obviously assisted the process. Moreover,
climate and geography intimately affected the range of signals. Based on
the intricate logic of sonic effects, the sound ranging of the enemy attempted to
estimate the distance of the sound sources. For example, the Doppler effect dictated
that sound increasing in frequency was approaching and sound decreasing
in frequency was retreating. Such a manipulation of frequency was therefore deployed
to trick the enemy or was deliberately avoided in the recording of sound
effects. Yet, in practice this was unreliable, and it required the enemy to remain
relatively static.
These techniques of sonic deception derived from an accident. It was noticed
that when dive bombers came plunging from the sky, with their characteristic
“screaming whine caused by a siren deliberately designed into the aircraft . . .
it instilled a paralysing panic in those on the ground. . . . For Division of the
National Research Defence Committee, the lesson was clear: sound could terrify
soldiers. . . .
So they decided to take the concept to the next level and develop
a sonic ‘bomb.’ . . . The idea of a sonic ‘bomb’ never quite panned out, so
the engineers shifted their work toward battlefield deception.” Sonic deception
therefore emerged out of the power of audible vibrations to generate an affective
ecology of fear.
This sonic manipulation of the enemy involved a number of key tactics of
frequency to produce virtual sound. To create a phantom army in sound, its
presence had to be fabricated using what is often referred to as the “acoustical
intimacy” of binaural hearing, that is, the ears serve as two input channels for
sound and together create a whole virtual field:

Hearing is imperfect and can be fooled, especially when other senses, such as sight, are
also involved. We do not hear in the precise way an oscilloscope measures sound waves.
How an what we hear depends on context, both physical and emotional. . . . Presence emerged as the complex result of improvement in several key components of the sound
recording and playback system. First, the recordings themselves were purer, clean of
masking sound or obtrusive background noise. Second, the individual sound effects were
mixed into multiple channels and then played back through multiple speakers, both on
a single vehicle or vehicles separated by hundreds of yards. The psycho-acoustical effect
was that, as sound moved between speakers, the listener heard a phantom sound,
a sonic illusion, but one that did not jump from one sound source to another. Rather it
lingered in the space between the two speakers, creating a sense of spatial reality for the
sound. . . . The speaker itself evolved from a rigid metallic horn that gave off volume but
sound tinny and flat, like a megaphone. Now a larger,

flexible speaker came into play.

Now wouldn't a  RADAR based microwave hearing effect be an ideal platform for sonic warfare?

The less effective the
enemy’s visual capabilities, the more powerful sonic deception could be.
Like making sounds come from your neighbours place, were the walls ceilings etc. restricted your view!!!!

The Ghost Army’s aims were to trick the enemy into reacting against the
presence of a non-existent phantom army using the sounds of troops, tanks, and
landing craft, allowing the actual troops to manoeuvre elsewhere.

Pretty hard to make you believe an phantom army is camped out side your house or roaming the streets , but you could deceive people into believing that people you saw were some type of agent or had some secret double life as a gangstalker/perp

I believe an element/phase of our targeting is some type of urban personalised advanced sonic warfar to get us reacting to some phantom "perpetrators" in our local area so others see us as acting out of character and suffering from some type of Persecutory / grandiose delusion and we are quickly labelled as mental ill and carted of to the mental ward to be drugged once than is done and we are isolated from friends and family outcast in the community and written of as some paranoid nut then they can carry on and almost do anything to us.