Sirens are sounds that confront us in daily life, from the sounds of police cars and fire engines to, less often, tornado warnings. During the Blitz in London, sirens warned people to move into the safety of air-raid shelters. Yet, in parallel to this, 'Sirens' also have a mythical reality as embodied in the meeting between Odysseus and the Sirens in Greek myth, whereby the specter of the 'Sirens' embodied the seductive but ultimately destructive power of sound over the human subject.
Ideologies of sirens embody both the protective and the dangerous elements of siren sounds from the Cold War public training exercises in the US in the 1950s and 60s to the seductive power of the sirens entrenched in popular culture, from Roxy Music to Tom Odell, to filmic representations of the 'femme fatale' in Film Noir and beyond. This book argues that we should understand 'Siren sounds' as both myth and materiality, embodying both danger and protection. It poses the question of whether we can rely on the sirens, both in their mythic meanings or in their material meanings in contemporary culture.
- Publication Date:
- 06 / 02 / 2020
- 140 x 216mm