Media soundscapes: listening to
installation and performance
Media scholars have pointed out the recent ubiquity of moving image media
in the historically ‘visual’ art spaces of museums and art galleries.1 Indeed, I
cannot recall a recent visit to an art gallery, museum, or alternative art space
where I did not encounter works that feature or incorporate video, film, animation, or other forms of media. As a result, there is much to listen to in these
‘noisy’ spaces. Caleb Kelly provides a description: ‘Upon entering almost any
contemporary gallery space, we hear
thresholds. This is because, according to Flusser, thought follows
formally the conditions of its technical possibilities of
expression. Despite the fact that it invents its own symbolic and
technical media, thought adapts itself ever more perfectly to them
in a virtual process of self-reproduction. While writing expresses
the world through signs in a linear fashion, the technical image
The Zapatistas and the media spectacle
l m o s t from the beginning of the struggle and, more particularly, when
they decided on a ceasefire in 1995, the Zapatistas’ emphasis shifted from
the use of arms to the use of words.1 Through declarations, reports, letters
and communiqués, they sent out their message to national and international
media and thus to the world. Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, one of the
spokespersons of the movement, with his captivating communiqués, combining
stories, poetry, philosophy, satire, romanticism and political analysis
Daniel Dezeuze and China from scroll to (TV) screen
Mao, militancy and media: Daniel Dezeuze
and China from scroll to (TV) screen
Chinese thought and writing
The thought of Mao Zedong
Peinture: Cahiers Théoriques, editorial, May 19711
In 2015 I proposed the French artist Daniel Dezeuze for the first Asian
Biennale/fifth Guangzhou Triennale at the Guangdong Museum of Art. ‘Asia
Time’, had prevailed over ‘Search: Asia’ as the exhibition concept, inspired by
my fellow curator Zhang Qing’s readings around the clash of
In our time of increasing reliance on digital media the history of the book has a
special role to play in studying the codex form and the persistence of old media
alongside the growth of new ones. As a contribution to recent work on the
continued use of manuscript in the handpress era, I focus on some examples of
manuscripts copied from printed books in the Rylands Library and discuss the
motivations for making them. Some of these manuscripts were luxury items
signalling wealth and prestige, others were made for practical reasons – to own
a copy of a book that was hard to buy, or a copy that could be customized in the
process of copying. The act of copying itself was also considered to have
devotional and/or pedagogical value.
This unique anthology presents thirty-two texts on contemporary prints and printmaking written from the mid-1980s to the present. The essays range from academic art history to popular art criticism and creative writing; taken together, they form a critical topography of printmaking today. The book’s four sections provide: A genealogy of printmaking and print culture; A sample of debates on contemporary printmaking, beginning with Ruth Weisberg’s influential ‘The syntax of print’ (1986); A range of critical terms and themes; Examples of some of the major spheres of print activity, such as production, collecting, dissemination, education and research Drawing on a cast of distinguished scholars, artists and curators, the book makes available a selection of widely dispersed and difficult-to-find texts. This includes extracts from works not yet available in English, such as Die Welt als T-Shirt (1997) by Beat Wyss and La Ressemblance par contact (2008) by Georges Didi-Huberman. There are also contributions from scholar and book artist Johanna Drucker, mathematician and computer artist Frieder Nake, curators Daniel F. Herrmann, Gill Saunders and Mari Carmen Ramírez, and the editors of the award-winning website Printeresting. Featuring an overall introduction by the editor, as well as introductions to each of the sections, the anthology is aimed at an audience of international stakeholders in the field of contemporary prints, printmaking and print media, ranging from art students and practising artists to museum curators, critics, educationalists and scholars. It provides the basis for an expansion of the debate in the field and a starting point for further research.
There is no soundtrack is a specific yet expansive study of sound tactics deployed in experimental media art today. It analyses how audio and visual elements interact and produce meaning, drawing from works by contemporary media artists ranging from Chantal Akerman, to Nam June Paik, to Tanya Tagaq. It then links these analyses to discussions on silence, voice, noise, listening, the soundscape, and other key ideas in sound studies. In making these connections, the book argues that experimental media art – avant-garde film, video art, performance, installation, and hybrid forms – produces radical and new audio-visual relationships that challenge and destabilize the visually-dominated fields of art history, contemporary art criticism, cinema and media studies, and cultural studies as well as the larger area of the human sciences. This book directly addresses what sound studies scholar Jonathan Sterne calls ‘visual hegemony’. It joins a growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship that is collectively sonifying the study of culture while defying the lack of diversity within the field by focusing on practitioners from transnational and diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the media artists discussed in this book are of interest to scholars and students who are exploring aurality in related disciplines including gender and feminist studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, urban studies, environmental analysis, and architecture. As such, There Is No Soundtrack makes meaningful connections between previously disconnected bodies of scholarship to build new, more complex and reverberating frameworks for the study of art, media, and sound.
The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.
Throughout its brief history, photography has had a close relationship to social movements. From the Commune of Paris in 1871, the first political uprising to be captured by camera, to the 1990s anti-globalisation movement, the photographic medium has played a crucial role in political struggles. The book reflects critically on the theory of photography and the social movements themselves. It draws on a range of humanities disciplines, including photography theory and history, social movement theory, political theory, cultural history, visual culture, media studies and the history and theory of art. The book takes as a starting point 1968 - a year that witnessed an explosion of social movements worldwide and has been interpreted as a turning point for political practice and theory. The finishing point is 2001 - a signpost for international politics due to September 11 and a significant year for the movement because of the large-scale anti-capitalist protests in Genoa. Within these chronological limits, the book focuses on a selection of distinctive instances in which the photographic medium intersects with the political struggle. The three case studies are not the only pertinent examples, by any means, but they are important ones, not only historically and politically, but also iconographically. They are the student and worker uprising in France in May 1968 and two moments of the contemporary anti-capitalist movement, the indigenous Zapatista movement in Mexico and the anti-capitalist protests in Genoa in 2001.
A battle of images is above all a psychological struggle. Unintended consequences are the rule rather than the exception. The book examines the role of images in media reports on terror from the nineteenth century to the present day. Looking at concrete case studies, Charlotte Klonk analyses image strategies and their patterns, traces their historical development and addresses the dilemma of effective counter strikes. She shows that the propaganda videos from the IS are nothing new. On the contrary, perpetrators of terror acts have always made use of images to spread their cause through the media – as did their enemy, the state. In the final chapter, Klonk turns to questions of ethics and considers the grounds for a responsible use of images. This is an indispensable book for understanding the background and dynamic of terror today.