Aug 27th 2015

Joseph Clarke Guest Edits Grey Room

The current issue of the architectural history and theory journal Grey Room is guest-edited by Assistant Professor Joseph L. Clarke on the theme of “Acoustic Modernity.” This groundbreaking interdisciplinary volume explores links between sonic culture and acoustical technology from antiquity to the present. Six peer-reviewed articles consider how the problem of mediating sound in buildings has led architects to new conceptions of space and the self. 

Carl Ferdinand Langhans, diagram of irregular sound reflection in an elliptical theater (1810).

The volume includes contributions by leading international scholars Niall Atkinson, Reinhold Martin, Jonathan Sterne, Peter Szendy, and Viktoria Tkaczyk. Clarke’s own article on German Romantic theories of acoustics sheds new light on the history of reverberation, arguing that early research on this phenomenon reflected not only a desire to solve practical problems of audibility in buildings, but also cultural fascination with immersion and enchantment.

William Henry Stone, producing "sound figures" on a metal plate following experiments in the 1780s.