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The Thing about Microphones

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2016
Author Mark Peter Wright,
Project Sounding out the Anthropocene. Investigating Sonic Media Ecologies
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Leonardo Music Journal (LMJ)
Volume (Issue) 26
Page(s) 60 - 63
Title of proceedings Leonardo Music Journal (LMJ)
DOI 10.1162/LMJ_a_00977


This article examines the microphone and its connective political and nonhuman ecologies. A media archaeological excavation of Leon Theremin’s role in the development of a specific bugging device (“The Thing”) facilitates discussion throughout. Situating the microphone within a networked history of power relations and ethical consequences, the author draws upon contexts of surveillance, parasites and horror in order to ask whether microphones are agential actors and, if so, what the consequences might be.