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Earth Sound Earth SignalEnergies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts$
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Douglas Kahn

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780520257801

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520257801.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022



(p.255) 20 Earth-in-Circuit
Earth Sound Earth Signal

Douglas Kahn

University of California Press

An allegory is proposed based upon the manner in which telecommunications technologies and have gone in and out of circuit with aspects of the earth during different historical phases. The nineteenth-century “earth return” is transmuted to a return to earth in the contemporary context of global warming. The “annihilation of space and time” associated with telecommunications from the nineteenth century to the present day is taken at face value in terms of environmental destruction. The reintroduction of “nature” into communications as commune, imparting things material, or natural media is used to place works discussed in the book in a much larger context, and that includes challenging a development of telecommunications to deal with ecological crisis.

Keywords:   earth return, natural media, annihilation of space and time, media and ecology, media ecology, telecommunications history

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