GPS Sound Walks, Ecotones and Edge Species

Frauke Behrendt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inspired by sound studies, mobile media studies and ecology, this paper introduces an alternative way of framing mobile listening experiences by understanding mobile media as an edge species, a term borrowed from ecology. If we conceptualise mobile media as edge species - spending time in junctions between the techno-ecosystem of our cities and the natural ecosystem of our countryside and landscapes - this opens up a discussion around how mobile networked devices allow us to connect to, rather than isolate from, our surroundings. The metaphors of the ecotone, the edge effect, and edge species open up a new way of thinking about those areas where humans, mobile media, and landscapes increasingly co-exist. Despite the carbon footprint of mobile phones, smart phones and other mobile devices, I argue that the mobile media use we observe in GPS sound walks have the potential to re-connect people within "natural ecosystems" - especially when we consider the auditory dimensions of the experience and how walking operates as remixing. Listening and walking as temporal, mobility and auditory experience, immersion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-28
Number of pages4
JournalSoundscape: The Journal of Acoustic Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


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