El Tren Fantasma: arcs of sound and the acoustic spaces of landscape

Revill, George (2014). El Tren Fantasma: arcs of sound and the acoustic spaces of landscape. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 39(3) pp. 333–344.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/tran.12034


Drawing on the example of Chris Watson’s soundwork El Tren Fantasma, this paper considers how landscape is made in sound. Informed by the work of Michael Serres and Don Ihde it argues for an understanding of landscape as mediation. Drawing on the work of Brandon Labelle, Jean Luc Nancy. Mladon Dollar, and Charles Sanders Pearce , the paper develops the concept of ‘the arc of sound’ as part of a socio-material approach to semiosis able to recognise the ways sound connects and differentiates contingently across heterogeneous spaces and materials. It shows how sound participates in the production of the railway corridor as a complex, animate and deeply contoured historically and geographically specific experience of landscape. Finally, it argues for an approach to landscape as mediation which pays equal attention to ontology and epistemology.

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