Monthly Archives: March 2018

Ep. 2: City of Voices (Shannon Mattern)



Shannon MaternThis episode we have a single longform interview with a media scholar of note–The New School’s Shannon Mattern. We have teamed up with Mediapolis, a journal that places urban studies and media studies into conversation with one another, to interview Mattern about her new book, Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: Five Thousand Years of Urban Media (U of Minnesota Press: 2018).

And lucky for us on Phantom Power, a large portion of Mattern’s story is about sound, from the echoes of ancient caves to Roman amphitheaters to telephone wires and radio towers—she shows us how sonic infrastructures allow us to communicate and form communities, cultivating forms of intelligence that are embodied and affective, as well as informatic. Before there was the smart city, there was the sonic city—and the sonic city isn’t going anywhere soon.

Some topics discussed: Patrick Feaster and First Sounds; Neil Postman; Harold Innis; Marshall McLuhan; John Durham Peters’ The Marvelous CloudsCarolyn Birdsall’s Nazi Soundscapes


Ep. 1: Dead Air (John Biguenet and Rodrigo Toscano)



On our first episode of Phantom Power, we ponder those moments when the air remains unmoved. Whether fostered by design or meteorological conditions or technological glitch, the absence of sound sometimes affects us more profoundly than the audible.

We begin with author John Biguenet discussing his book Silence (Bloomsbury, 2015) and the relationship between quietude, reading, writing, and the self.

Next, we speak to poet and hurricane responder Rodrigo Toscano, who takes us into the foreboding silence in eye of a storm.

Finally, our own co-host and poet cris cheek ponders the many contradictory experiences of “dead air” in an age of changing media technologies.

Today’s episode features music by our own Mack Hagood and by Graeme Gibson, who is currently touring on drums with Michael Nau and the Mighty Thread.

Transcript below.

Continue reading Ep. 1: Dead Air (John Biguenet and Rodrigo Toscano)