Axel Volmar

Axel Volmar holds an MA in Cultural History and Theory from Humboldt University in Berlin and Communication Science from Technical University Berlin.  In 2012 he completed a PhD in Media Studies from the University of Siegen, Germany. His dissertation, Sound Experiments: The Auditory Culture of Science since 1800, assesses the role of listening and sound technologies (the stethoscope, the Geiger counter and sonar, among others) as epistemic tools for the production of scientific knowledge. The dissertation resides at the intersection of sound studies, the history of science and technology, and media theory. While at McGill under the supervision of Prof. Jonathan Sterne, Axel will expand his previous research into the field of “data sonification.”  He will investigate the role of the senses in making sense of abstract data structures by focusing on the relationship between the technologies of data processing and the sensory practices of data analysis. He is particularly interested in the history of scientific listening, and the shift from listening to physical phenomena to listening to virtual data structures, starting in the 1980s. Axel will be able to work closely with colleagues in the Media@McGill research hub, as well as the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music, Media and Technologies housed at McGill.