Sounding Places
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Sounding Places

More-Than-Representational Geographies of Sound and Music

Edited by Karolina Doughty, Michelle Duffy and Theresa Harada

This edited collection examines the more-than-representational registers of sound. It asks how sound comes to be a meaningful ingredient in the microgeographies of place-making through the workings of affect, emotion, and atmosphere, how sound contributes to shaping a variety of embodied and spatially situated experiences, and how such aspects can be harnessed methodologically. These topics contribute to broader debates on the relations between representation and the non- or more-than-representational that are taking place across the social sciences and humanities in the wake of the cultural turn. More specifically, the book contributes to the fertile theoretical intersections of sound, affect, emotion, and atmosphere.
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Chapter 5: Resounding heterotopias: breakdance, caporales and the re-appropriation of the city

Fabio Bertoni


The intention of this chapter is to deepen the understanding of the role of music and sound in forms of tactical re-appropriation of public spaces in its emotional, atmospheric and symbolic strength, as well as the affective role of the sound as dispositive of boundary construction. The chapter presents ethnographic research conducted in Milan, and specifically a focus on the daily use of the underground station of Porta Venezia. Diverse groups of young people use an area in the station as a place to dance, from breakdance to ‘neofolk’ dance of Caporales and, daily, they re-invent the space with unplanned uses and activities. The affirmation of these practices is considered as the construction of an interstitial territory and analysed in its auditory dimension. The alteration of rhythms and aesthetics shapes an alternative and unexpected use of bodies in the space, which constitute a spatial territory, both material and imagined, that can be read as an embodied and resounding form of heterotopia.

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