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Trace Reddell

Primary Area of Expertise

  • Sound studies, film & science fiction

Also qualified to speak on topics in the following areas:

  • Sound art
  • Science fiction in popular culture
  • Space music & psychedelic rock
  • Improvisation
  • Technoculture
  • Technology and philosophy
  • Audiovisual performance
  • Expanded cinema
  • Planetariums


Trace Reddell is a writer, artist and theorist exploring the interactions of sound and the cosmological imagination.

Trace received a Ph.D. in English from University of Colorado at Boulder in 1997, an M.A. in Creative Writing from University of Colorado at Boulder in 1989, and a B.A. in English Literature from Texas Tech University in 1986. Trace is Associate Professor of Emergent Digital Practices at the University of Denver. His courses cover sonic arts, expanded cinema and audiovisual performance, sound studies, critical theory, science fiction studies, and philosophy of technology and media.

Trace’s book, The Sound of Things to Come: An Audible History of the Science Fiction Film (U of Minnesota Press, 2018), is a groundbreaking approach to sound in sci-fi films that offers new ways of construing both sonic innovation and science fiction cinema. Other publications include the feature essay, “Ethnoforgery and Outsider Afrofuturism,” in Dancecult: The Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture, Vol. 5, No. 2 (2013); the chapter, “Cyborg Ritual and Sentic Technology in the Vortex Concerts,” in The Poetics of Space: Spatial Explorations in Art, Science, Music & Technology (Sonic Acts Press, Paradiso, 2010); and a chapter on web-based audio and networked sound projects in Cybersounds: Essays on Virtual Music Culture (Peter Lang Publishing, 2006). Other articles have appeared in Leonardo Music Journal, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, the Contemporary Music Review, and the Electronic Book Review.

Trace’s live cinema performances and video works have screened at over thirty international venues including galleries and new media festivals in New York, London, Glasgow, Amsterdam, Berlin, Zurich, Sao Paolo, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Tehran. His and audio projects have appeared on the Web since 1999.


Personal Mission Statement

I have been doing sound-related research, writing, and artistic production for the past 18 years. My critical history of sound in the science fiction film, The Sound of Things to Come (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) is the most recent and in-depth outcome of my work. In part, this book posits the science fiction film as a site of innovation and sonic artistic activity in its own right. This is generally how I approach popular cultures and subcultures, as both places of and agencies for new modes of being and understanding the world. They are deeply, though not exclusively, technological. My exploration into sonic objects is more broadly shaped by an appeal to media art history, theory, & philosophy, particularly where new technologies are concerned. I explore these areas as a writer and thinker as well as a maker of my own music, sound art, and live audiovisual experiences. I bring these interests into the classroom with the expectation that my students will share the responsibility of co-creation, collaboration, critical thinking, imagination, and praxis (making knowledge and knowledgeable making).


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