Sonic Etiquette: Domestication of Acoustic Neighbourhood Relations in Istanbul (2018) Meri Kytö. A sonic ethnography of a middle-class housing cooperative. I get a strong sense of site from this text. It has a nice introduction to concepts such as “acoustic orderliness” (the “endless task on empirical research” trough which people try to fit their habitat acoustically), “spatial segregation” (Kytö argues that “acoustic orderliness” is key in maintaining the segregation of particular groups) and “strategic intimacy” (“a tool with which we can cover, process and utilize status and class distinctions in everyday encounters”).

My interest in the interface between private and communal sonic space is connected to the idea that the domestic sonic spaces of homes in densely built areas of big cities such as Istanbul are intertwined and overlapping. The acoustic space in apartments is porous and flowing: both the city as a public sonic space and neighbours’ private lives penetrate the home, regardless of the walls. “Private” is not a separate part of culture but an area of life that is strongly dependent on values and the concept of the individual. As a historical concept, privacy has been strongly linked to the formation of the Western bourgeois nuclear family civic society. Privacy can also mean information management and hence an individual’s right to self-determination, the formation of an autonomous and considerate citizen as a precondition for a democratic social order.

Taiteen metsittymisestä – Harjoitteita jälkifossiilisiin oloihin” [On the becoming-a-forest of Art – Exercises for postfossil conditions] (2018) ed. Henna Laininen. A book with texts from Saara Hannula, Markus Tuormaa, Isla Peura, Timo P. Vartiainen and Henna Laininen. I’ve only read the “Esitys metsän rajalla” [Performance on the edge of the forest] by Hannula. It’s good, she’s investigating how the forest is performed (in an example she deep-reads the visitor guide of the Paljakka Strict Nature Reserve). Hannula points to Contingency and Complicity (2011?) an essay by Reza Negarestani, to argue that artistic processes which boast their openesess and promote un-authoritarianism, are often dependent on the artist ego, infrastructure and conventions, which sorts out unwanted audience behaviour and risks. Instead of fake-openness – Artists should turn to complicity and closure.

The Crisis of Intimacy in the Age of Digital Connectivity (2018) Stephen Marche. A well written essay on internet’s effect on intimacy. Apparently Bill Clinton introduced the phrase “I feel your pain” in the ’90s. The author believes that people are returning to a believe that words have magical effects – Which is why political correctness is over exemplified, while empathy is diminishing.

The incipient political catastrophe in the United States can be summed up in a phrase: nobody believes the other’s pain is real. Nobody believes the other’s pain is meaningful; nobody recognizes anybody else’s pain. It is the central problem of internet-provoked outrage and loathing, the hyper-partisanship that turns on so many hinges. Nobody is willing to accept the other’s description of their feelings.