Abstract

During the social and technical construction of the affordable “family touring car” in both the United States and Europe, one of the urgent projects was the abatement of noise. As a part of the emergence of “automotive comfort,” noise abatement took place during one of the costliest operations in the history of automotive technology: the closing of the body. From an open tourer, the car, during the interwar period, developed into a sedan, encapsulating the driver and his passengers and drastically altering their sensorial intake, especially sight and sound. Thus, car engineering became an engineering of the senses. In this article focusing on the American car culture, it is argued that sound “orchestration” was necessary to enable the automotive subject (the nuclear family) to concentrate on what it liked most: gazing outside the car body. The tourist gaze was rescued through the orchestration (both domesticating and fine-tuning) of the car as a sound machine.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1097-3729
Print ISSN
0040-165X
Pages
pp. 299-325
Launched on MUSE
2014-06-05
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.