Listening to Epilepsy: Reexamining SoundCloud, Sonic Desire, and Affective Labor

Melanie Chilianis


While many patients who are ill form significant networks of support online I argue that to describe experiences in language over social media is not always desirable for someone with epilepsy. My line of inquiry instead explores the tension between music creation and fragmented subjectivity, and folds in a critique of SoundCloud, the music sharing and networking site. I start with an analysis of what it means for the subject to compose and produce electronic music, and then with an analysis of my own music on SoundCloud. I investigate affective attachment in relation to our entanglement with music and social media, and I extend this to a survey of subjectivity, physicality and networked capitalism. In the article, affect and listening are related through their materiality and space, and by their capacity to mediate sound and meaning. I examine listening for its potential to expand critical activity in accord with embodied processes that are relevant to situated disability. Listening and affect guide my argument as concepts, and I conclude that distinct facets of listening can be connected to an ethics of living in the information society.


sound; music; listening; intersectionality; affect; illness; network;

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Copyright (c) 2018 Melanie Chilianis


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