trace reddell



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


professional mission

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 auditory innovation and sonic artistic activity in its own right, with the critical and speculative strategies of science fiction bridging narrative, aesthetic, and material domains of extrapolation and the newly emergent. It is characteristic of my approach to sonic popular cultures and their subcultures, as both places of and agencies for new modes of being and understanding the world. These modes 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).




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 Professor of Emergent Digital Practices at the University of Denver. His courses cover sound studies, critical theory, new and speculative materialism, science fiction studies, philosophies of technology and media, as well as production courses in sonic arts, expanded cinema, and audiovisual performance.

Trace's book, The Sound of Things to Come: An Audible History of the Science Fiction Film (U of Minnesota Press, 2018), takes a groundbreaking approach to sound in science fiction films that offers new ways of construing both sonic innovation and science fiction cinema. Trace is planning a sequel that picks up where the first book ended, in 1990, and includes discussions not only of SF films but also TV shows, music videos, live cinema, and audiovisual performance. He is also developing book projects on psychedelic rock, vaporwave and synthwave, and space music.

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 short fiction has appeared in Fiction International, Sniper Logic, American Goat, Black Ice, and the anthology, Midsummer Night's Dreams (Rhinoceros). Most recently, his short story, "The Hindenburg Incident (A Medicine Man Adventure)," appeared in the anthology of original superhero stories, Alter Egos, Vol. 2 (Source Point Press, March 2014). A Medicine Man novel is in the works.

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

contact info

Trace Reddell, Ph.D.
Emergent Digital Practices
University of Denver

Office: Sturm Hall 216B
Phone: 303-871-3874
CV: download