It is important to note that visual studies benefits from, and indeed embodies, the privileged status of ocular-centrism that limits much art and visual media scholarship: what visual studies overlooks – or, rather, overhears – is precisely that which sound studies must sound out.

Sound Studies: Framing Noise – only the abstract is freely available I’m afraid, unless you have institutional access
Shannon Mattern, Barry Salmon
Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, Volume 2, Issue 2, Autumn 2008,
pp. 139-144 (Article)
Published by Liverpool University Press


Added 12 January 2014

I’ve been reading this lovely review of Prof Trevor Cox’s new book, Sonic Wonderland, which is published in a few days on 16 Jan. There’s an excerpt available at Amazon from the ‘look inside’ feature and I found this phrase which matches the above quote rather well, and with which I mostly agree (I think there are quite a few sound recordings on the net, but it is perhaps hard to describe them (metadata) and thus organise them, when compared to photographs and images at iStockPhoto).

After an interesting sonic experience in a sewer the author decided he wanted to discover more amazing sound experiences and imagined he’d have no trouble finding lists of examples on the internet, but it wasn’t to be.

“The dominance of the visual has in fact dulled all of ours senses, especially hearing. Our obsession with sight has led us to produce loads of images of bizarre and beautiful places, but surprisingly few recordings of wonderful sounds.”

Sonic Wonderland by Trevor Cox is out on 16 January 2014.