This paper analyzes sound-oriented public performance Tuning In—the neighborhood, a project by Tao G. Vrhovec Sambolec, which took place in Amsterdam in May 2019. Through a combination of micropolitical theory and consideration of the (sound) art heritage that Tuning In is part of, the term ambience is transformed into a concept that helps one make sense of the way sound and place combine to effect one’s comprehension of the space they are in. Weaving in and out of the event in question while drawing on descriptions of the contemporary, sound studies, the philosophy of community, and affect theory, this article concludes by recognizing Tuning In as a sonic apparition of a communal spirit. It argues that this was an event in which one could find an amplification of an altermodernity rooted in the commons and the anti-neoliberal. Through a historically rooted understanding of the community that made itself heard during this event, Tuning In is presented as a vibrational amplification of the sort of community that is at threat in a gentrifying city. While also highlighting the potential problems arising from community making, such as the exclusion of certain bodies, this paper argues that a community must have the space within which it can “tune in” to itself and produce its own ambience.
A Community Ambience: Tracing the Affect of Tuning In—the neighborhood’s Contemporary Drone
Nicholas Burman has an MA in Comparative Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam and is the founding editor of one-shot anthology FOCUS On Sound. He has had articles published in FRAME, Simulacrum, and is a contributor to Key Terms in Comics Studies, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2021. [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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Nicholas Burman; A Community Ambience: Tracing the Affect of Tuning In—the neighborhood’s Contemporary Drone. Resonance 1 June 2021; 2 (2): 242–263. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/res.2021.2.2.242
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