[стр. 270—271 бумажной версии номера]
The 134th NZ issue is dedicated to a single topic, that of sound, covering its philosophy, politics, culture and anthropology – subjects included in a contemporary research area known as sound studies. The issue opens with a piece by the guest editor Evgeny Bylina “Sonic Fiction: In Search of Possible Soundscapes” outlines the main themes of the issue and sketches out some of the most important, in Bylina's view, branches of sound studies. Next, in Political Theory and Depolitisation Practices, we offer the foreword to “Acid Communism”, an unfinished book by the British theorist Mark Fisher. The piece is Fisher's attempt to “reassemble” the possibility of a future based on social justice through his analysis of a song by The Temptations.
The contents of this issue are organised into three thematic sections, each contributing to the development of a storyline of sorts. The first section, “New Sound Ontologies”, explores the philosophical aspect of sound studies. It opens with an article by Anatoly Ryasov titled “Sign Sounds and Phenomenon Sounds”. Ksenia Mayorova's piece sets out to define the role of sound outside (or, to quote the title, “on the other side”) of two metanarratives: a “belief in the physical reality of sound independent of the act of listening” and a “need for the subjective act of listening, without which sound can never become real”. Nikita Safonov's overview of what is known as “sonic materialism” focuses on his analysis of the concept of sound devised by Christoph Cox, a scholar of sound studies.
The second section takes us from the ontology of sound to its politics (or, to be more precise, various types of politics). It begins with an essay by Salomé Voegelin, an artist, writer and researcher of audio culture, titled “The Non-Curation Politics in the Museum Space: Making Resistance Possible and Providing Alternatives”. Voegelin explores a possible new – politically engaged, radically alternative – approach to curation in contemporary art, emphasising a special role played in it by sound. Vita Zelenskaya outlines current theoretical views of the political component of sound, while Anastasia Markevich applies some of these views to a real-life scenario: the on-going protests in Belarus.
From the various politics of sound we move on to pop music as a powerful representation of society, the subject of the third thematic section of this NZ issue, “Musical Forms and Social Norms”. Daniil Zhayvoronok analyses (pop) feminist aspects characterising the work of several contemporary Russian female artists. In “Meshes of the Afternoon and Fast-Moving Things: Nostalgia and Terminal Spaces of British Stop Rock”, Artem Abramov offers a brief cultural history of stop rock, a tendency that in the 1980s and 1990s came to be overshadowed by such influential genres as post punk, grunge and Britpop. The section concludes with “Brexit: A Playlist”, in which the NZ editor Kirill Kobrin attempts to reconstruct some elements of the pop musical landscape accompanying the split between Britain and Europe.
The theme of the last section is further developed in our regular column Politics of Culture. It comprises two pieces, both centred around contemporary Russian pop music. In “Futurism That Never Happened: The Technical Production of the Future in the New School of Russian Rap”, Alexey Tsarev deals with the genre's most popular and advanced component, rap. In “Representation of Migrants in Videos by Russia's Independent Artists: Three Strategies Used to Construct Authenticity”, Mark Simon talks about the music video, a form that, while being most closely linked to pop's visual aspects, can both reflect and promote certain national, racial and other social stereotypes. Andrey Vozyanov in Case Study considers an interesting example, tracing the soundscape of one of Minsk's residential areas in the time of the current pandemic. The issue concludes with Aleksey Levinson's regular column, Sociological Lyrics; the Russian Intellectual Journals’ Review by Alexander Pisarev; and a New Books section.