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Sonic, infrasonic, and ultrasonic frequencies : the utilisation of waveforms as weapons, apparatus for psychological manipulation, and as instruments of physiological influence by industrial, entertainment, and military organisations

Heys, T (2011) Sonic, infrasonic, and ultrasonic frequencies : the utilisation of waveforms as weapons, apparatus for psychological manipulation, and as instruments of physiological influence by industrial, entertainment, and military organisations. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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This study is a trans-disciplinary and trans-historical investigation into civilian and battlefield contexts in which speaker systems have been utilised by the military-industrial and military-entertainment complexes to apply pressure to mass social groupings and the individuated body. Drawing on authors such as historian/sociologist Michel Foucault, economist Jacques Attali, philosopher Michel Serres, political geographer/urban planner Edward Soja, musician/sonic theorist Steve Goodman, and cultural theorist/urbanist Paul Virilio, this study engages a wide range of texts to orchestrate its arguments. Conducting new strains of viral theory that resonate with architectural, neurological, and political significance, this research provides new and original analysis about the composition of waveformed geography. Ultimately, this study listens to the ways in which the past and current utilisation of sonic, infrasonic, and ultrasonic frequencies as weapons, apparatus for psychological manipulation, and instruments of physiological influence, by industrial, civilian, entertainment, and military organisations, predict future techniques of sociospatialised organisation. In chapter one it is argued that since the inception of wired radio speaker systems into U.S. industrial factories in 1922, the development of sonic strategies based primarily on the scoring of architectonic spatiality, cycles of repetition, and the enveloping dynamics of surround sound can be traced to the sonic torture occurring in Guantanamo Bay during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Exploring the use of surround sound speaker techniques by the FBI during the Waco Siege in Texas, this argument is developed in chapter two. In chapter three it is further contended that the acoustic techniques utilised in the Guantanamo torture cells represent the final modality and the logical conclusion of these strategies that have evolved between civilian and military contexts over the past 80 years. In chapter four, the speaker system instrumentality of the HSS ultrasonic beam - occurring post Guantanamo - comes to symbolise an epistemic shift in the application of waveformed pressure; the dynamics of directional ultrasound technology signalling the orchestration of a new set of frequency-based relations between the transmitter and the receiver, the speaker system and architectural context, and the civilian and war torn environment. The concluding proposition of the study submits that a waveformed cartography - mapping the soundscape's territorialisation by the military-entertainment complex - needs to be composed and arranged so that forms of recording, amplification, and resistance can be made coherent. Given the new set of non-sound politics announced by the HSS, this philosophy of frequency-based mapping will have to re-evaluate the taxonomy and indexical nature of spatial relations. This discipline will be a waveformed psychogeography; a frequency-based modality that heuristically charts the spatial concerns of the neural environment as well as the environs of the material and the built. As a field of research it will have a wide-ranging remit to explore the spatial, psychological, physiological, social, economic, and sexual effects that waveforms have upon our subjectivity. Its methodology - as suggested through the structuring of this study - will be multi-disciplined and multi-channelled. It will create new forms of knowledge about LRADs, iPods, Mosquitos, I ntonarumori , loudhailers, and Sequential Arc Discharge Acoustic Generators - the meta-network of speaker systems through which rhythms and cadences of power are transmitted, connected, and modulated.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering
U Military Science > U Military Science (General)
Divisions: Engineering
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2017 11:29
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 23:30
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00006092
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6092
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