The impacts of hearing liminal space

In this week’s discussion we had the choice of looking at 2 different readings. I chose “Sonic Liminality: Soundscapes, Semiotics, and Ecologies of Meaning” by Jonathan Beever. In this reading, Beever discussed how digital technology-driven soundscape ecology can give semioticians access to informational ecosystems. Now once I began reading this article, I did not know what soundscape ecology was, of semioticians. However, after further research I discovered that soundscape ecology was the study of how living organisms such as humans, animals and their environment are related though “acoustic relationships. Furthermore, Semioticians are people who are experts in the study of signs and symbols. 

First things first, I was not aware that soundscape ecology was possible. I never thought that living organisms could show relationships based on sound. The reading also used the term “liminal spaces” which was another term I was not familiar with. From my understanding, liminal spaces are “transition spaces” or according to the reading, they are “intersections and aggregations of human and nonhuman-animal umwelten”. With that said, I learned that these spaces can be evaluated using biosemetic analysis. What intrigued me the most about this reading was how we can see an example of these studies in our daily lives, in particular, the zoo.

One of the final sections of sonic liminality at the zoo showed how we can see how contemporary zoos are examples of liminal spaces. Using recording devices, they were able to evaluate how each animal reacts to different sound frequencies. From this data, they were able to conclude that “all experiences are liminal, and all spaces are liminal spaces”. They even went so far as to make interpretations on how certain sounds such as “train railing” will affect how an animal reacts. I am very interested to find out how humans react certain ways to certain wounds. Since “all spaces are liminal spaces”, do we interpret our human space any differently?

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