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Rethinking art, media, and the audio-visual contract
Author: Ming-Yuen S. Ma

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.

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Kuba Szreder

precariat (Standing 2014 ). The term ‘precarity’ is commonly used to denote instability, low wages, lack of security and thwarted possibilities of advancement, all related to adverse modes of employment, such as zero hours, part-time and flexible contracts. More generally, as feminist scholars such as Isabell Lorey and Judith Butler argue, precariousness is a fundamental condition of vulnerability, lack of protection, exposure to risks and violence, inherent not to any specific class of workers, but to whole populations, such as sans-papiers or women exposed to sexual

in The ABC of the projectariat
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A case for embodied visuality
Bishnupriya Ghosh

and cities are periodically shut down; open drains fester in the capital; and the supply of goods (from grains to medical supplies) to local markets remains a gamble. Caught between the insurgents and the Indian Army, young Manipuri men live under the constant threat of interrogation, even death, while women are subject to daily sexual violence. It is this slow violence of depletion that Sharmila has turned into political theatre, the proverbial invasion of the feeding tube making visible the thanatopolitics of the state. Her iconic image of eviscerating corporeal

in Image operations
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Leah Modigliani

Burrows, John Grayson, and Ron Podoworny. Introduction 47 Bruce Braun, The Intemperate Rainforest: Nature, Culture, and Power on Canada’s West Coast (Minneapolis and London: University of Minnesota Press, 2002); Andrea Smith, Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide (Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 2005); Sherene Razack (ed.), Race, Space, and the Law: Unmapping a White Settler Society (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2002). 48 The West’s singular ‘Imaginary Indian,’ the stereotype of Aboriginal subjectivity theorized by Marcia Crosby, was associated

in Engendering an avant-garde
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Reckless people
Dominic Johnson

obscured the perpetrator and victim of an apparent trauma in the home. Duncan’s contemporaneous Scare affords these identities a brutal clarity (even if the face of the attacker remains camouflaged). Indeed, comparing Mendieta and Duncan may be inflammatory to some: where Mendieta elegised victims of domestic and sexual violence, Duncan appropriated an act of violence in Scare (and monstrously in Blind Date) as a tactic in the creation of performance art. In Scare, there is little space for ineffability in the experience or reception: in their formal recklessness, Duncan

in Unlimited action
Christian Marclay’s Guitar Drag
Ming-Yuen S. Ma

desire emerged, and also as the object of desire. For both dissector and dissected, body snatching figured as a rape of the grave, while dissection was a public undressing, a rape of the dead body. Cadavers, like women, were regarded as vulnerable, in need of male protection. Critics of medicine often denounced the desecration of bodies on the dissecting table and in the graveyard as an ‘unnatural act’, equivalent to sodomy.129 The history of dissection echoes the practice of lynching in its combination of white privilege, sexualized violence, and disrespect as well

in There is no soundtrack
Sruti Bala

, politics and public culture, and sheds light on the construction of categories such as ‘homosexual’ or ‘heterosexual’. The theatrical representation of lesbian lives in Afuera can thus be read not as a direct correlate to some authentic reality or indigenous 57 BALA__9781526100771_Print.indd 57 09/05/2018 16:19 the gestures of participatory art identity, but as a means of unsettling and reimagining the terms of this reality. The play Afuera addresses a range of issues, from lesbophobia, sexual violence and the role of religious institutions in the governance of

in The gestures of participatory art
Kimberly Lamm

for (and Piper achieved) is particularly pressing for images of black women, as they are less likely to become active centres of historical memory and more likely to become, as Spillers shows, iconic placeholders that cover over the deeper histories of racial and sexual violence inflicted through slavery and its institutional legacies. No doubt the icon of the black woman – and the idea that her primary purpose is to mirror white and black masculinities – contributes to the ease with which the histories of AfricanAmerican women have been occluded, forgotten, and

in Addressing the other woman