Grey Room

Spacing and Sounding Out

Peter Szendy

“The Origin of Daredevil,” Daredevil, no. 1 (Marvel Comics, April 1964).


The article proposes to understand acoustics not as sounds of things resonating in space but rather as the sound of their very spacing. It visits Adolf Loos’s account of walls impregnated by sounds, Italo Calvino’s imaginary city filled with earth, the invention of the stethoscope, comic books about bat-like superheroes, Athanasius Kircher’s designs for a listening device, among other things, to argue for an acoustical science that would not ignore auscultation or echolocation.