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

than ten years later, sound studies is a rapidly growing field to which many scholars from different disciplines, including art, music, cultural studies, history, philosophy, anthropology, architecture, and the natural sciences contribute. However, there remain significant gaps and absences within the formation of sound studies. There is no soundtrack aims to address two of these areas specifically and in juxtaposition: first, its exploration on sound in experimental media art points to a comparative lack of such scholarship in art history, art criticism, and in

in There is no soundtrack
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Notes on acoustic time
Ming-Yuen S. Ma

time.’ 1 There is no soundtrack ends not with a conventional conclusion, but with a meditation on the unique relationship between acoustic time and experimental media art. Inspired by Susan Sontag’s widely read 1964 essay ‘Notes on “Camp”’, this epilogue similarly employs a loose form of notation to draw from the many media art works, theories, ideas, and analyses throughout the book, but remixes them through a different perceptual as well as conceptual framework – in effect introducing a fourth rubric. This format also allows me to bring in new works, artists

in There is no soundtrack
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Listening to installation and performance
Ming-Yuen S. Ma

illusionistic nor ‘realistic’. Additionally, the ocularcentric, narrative-driven relationship between synchronized sound and image in films can also be challenged in contemporary experimental media art, such as in the performance practice of the following artist-respondent: in my live performance work, I consider the visual of my actual performance to be linked to the sound, as I use gesture both as a means of controlling sounds physically, and as just a visual aspect of the work. I also frequently use projected video, and the sound is often very connected to the image. I

in There is no soundtrack
Ronnie Close

structures. Through a new language of cinema the workers would develop class consciousness as members of a society within the revolutionary politics of communism. This new-found awareness is beyond the lived experiences of the individual workers in daily life as he describes it as ‘organizing the worker's vision’ (Michelson 1984 : 4). This is more than a subgenre of film theory or experimental media practices but a radical political fusion of art and life on a vast scale. This can be seen as a decolonial delinking from Western cultural traditions to establish independent

in Decolonizing images
Open Access (free)
How anti-computing time-travels
Caroline Bassett

studies focusing on small, abstruse, or unlikely elements of assemblages more often and more ‘obviously’ explored at different scales or in different registers. Ernst is one such practitioner and is reinvoked later. Finally, experimental media archaeology is focused on remaking and building and reusing old technologies now obsolete (Goodall and Roberts, 2019 ). Media archaeology has been criticized for these choices, charged with maintaining a preference for ‘what matters less’ that is voguish, whimsical, or fractious. Even

in Anti-computing
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Voiceover, autoethnography, performativity
Ming-Yuen S. Ma

reclaim the power of the subjective voice. In their vocal performances of self, these experimental media works create meaning through both the discursivity and materiality of the voice, and suggest ways of exceeding this and other normative dichotomies, including self and other, male and female, white and of color, colonizer and colonized, individual and collective. In the process, they open up a space of resistance in their vocality. Voice in media: disembodiment and synchronization The symbolism of the voice and its accompanying discourses are key to discussions of

in There is no soundtrack
The global exposition and the museum
Jane Chin Davidson

changes the dynamics for viewing artistic production that represents China as a ‘nation,’ since it provides the perfect situation for staging the concept of the embodied ‘self’ of an elusive Chineseness through bodily-oriented art. But the conditions of change in 1999 underlie Harald Szeemann’s selection of artists for the Aperto section The archive of Chineseness 5.3  Zhang Huan, To Raise the Water Level in a Fishpond, 1997, performance document of the Biennale, and while the curator/director was interested in the experimental media that artists were adopting in

in Staging art and Chineseness
Christian Marclay’s Guitar Drag
Ming-Yuen S. Ma

, histories of aurality could be conceived and theorized through acoustic models. That is, to imagine – heeding Sterne’s call for sonic imaginations – how the affect and ephemerality of sound can influence the conceptual premise and methodology in historical research and writing.3 This chapter proposes and experiments with the sound phenomena of reverberation and resonance as models for researching and conceptualizing history. It does so through deep listening to and intensive engagement with a single experimental media art work: Swiss American artist Christian Marclay

in There is no soundtrack