Environmental monitoring increasingly relies on expansive techniques of vibration sensing and signal transmission. Notably, the rise of the Earth sciences can partially be attributed to developments in methods of transduction. Monitoring procedures, often involving the coordination of multiple distant detectors, maintain strict relations between physical locations and vibrational properties. As tremors become spatial and geology temporal, wave-forms chart an ever-widening scope of material presence where terrestrial place takes on a vibrant, yet ominous, status.

In particular the images, sounds and graphs culled from the geophysical environment increasingly reveal energetic capacities that are in the very least pervasive if not downright threatening. Such registrations of vibrational expanse not only open a window onto past events, they also partially prefigure a future in their role as images of fate: These registers are also maps fraught with the sense of tremors and swells from events that have yet to arrive.

Behind this environmental waver is a more fundamental drift of attention: To what effect has an awareness of vibrational extensity become a projection screen of our own existential anxiety? And more specifically, in what manner has our grasp of distance itself come to measure the scope, states, and categories of physical calamity? This talk begins with Ganchrow’s recent infrasound work as a means towards the affordances and hang-ups of hearing long-distance.

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