This essay pursues questions considered elsewhere in this issue of Scan, but from the perspective of audio. Are all those iPod listeners in cities and on public transport inhabiting an audio ‘cocoon’, retreating from physical public space and the unpredictable mix of sounds in the urban environment? The author ranges across cultural periods in discussing the interaction of individuals with their audio surrounds, before discussing the work of contemporary sound artists using public space. Included in the links contained in this article is the author’s own project AudioNomad, which uses GPS to project audio onto mapped space.
Publisher version archived with the permission of the Editor, Scan, Department of Media, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia. This copy is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission to reprint/republish this version for other uses must be obtained from the publisher.