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Low fi explorations of embodied decompression in the digital age


It all started with an idea for a podcast. A podcast on the vital need to unpack both semantically and experientially the ineffable total embrace of digital presence, simultaneity and burnout. In this project we (Darija Medić and myself) understand decompression as the opposite of (and balance to) compression and compression as a technique of neoliberal optimization to a continuous increase of efficiency.


How is the sound of a freshly baked pie or an epilator perceived in a voice messaging conversation, depending on the state of listening? How is it read differently depending on the caption of the person sharing the sound? The world of sounds is primarily one of sensation rather than reflection. That is the starting point of Decompression Lowcast—Explorations in embodied decompression in the digital age, a proposal for a sensorial methodology in forming shared acoustic spaces of asynchronous conversation, remediation and decompression in the digital realm. Conducted as a constrained location prompt based acoustic exchange between two people, the format of the lowcast is a distributed low threshold form for a podcast.


Feminist new materialist scholars have tackled the question of the posthuman voice in decentering the notion of voice and agency. This project explores the healing applications of concepts around the posthuman in recording and considering one’s direct environment as an embodiment practice and the further exchange of acoustic artefacts into a decentering of the self through engaged listening. It sees voice messaging as a temporal distribution of networked, globalized communication in relation to the scarcity of time, especially pressing during intense periods of social distancing in the stronger waves of the COVID pandemic.

Experimenting with and around sonic environments, the project opens up a dialogue between the stress response cycle and lived bodies as interfaces. The resulting lowcast is a multimodal proposal for a space of learning and unlearning, a mode of developing knowledge from lived experience as an epistemic reset, with an open invitation to include a broader multiplicity of voices and (re)imaginaries.

A total lock-down in two distinct acoustic environments.


Belgrade balcony, finally hearing the sound of birds on a busy street and Novi Sad quiet tucked among the trees.


Silence is breaking the air around us.


How quickly those 72 hour turned into 2 years!


Right time, Universal time, Terrestrial time, my time, your time. From Network time protocols to  Global Positioning system and universal calendar to synchronize all the timekeeping systems across the globe.


Time is a precious resource. Time is labor. Time is care. Time is wasted. Can time be wasted?

A raw alarm reminding to let go.


Engaging in an act of feeling the sound. Not rationalizing it. 


But by letting go, we stepped into gray areas. Sound recording, Interface affordance, Data protection, Voice value, Consent, Surveillance, Trust, Questions. What is happening in the background?

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