Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts

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MIT Press, 1999 - Art - 455 pages
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This interdisciplinary history and theory of sound in the arts reads the twentieth century by listening to it—to the emphatic and exceptional sounds of modernism and those on the cusp of postmodernism, recorded sound, noise, silence, the fluid sounds of immersion and dripping, and the meat voices of viruses, screams, and bestial cries. Focusing on Europe in the first half of the century and the United States in the postwar years, Douglas Kahn explores aural activities in literature, music, visual arts, theater, and film. Placing aurality at the center of the history of the arts, he revisits key artistic questions, listening to the sounds that drown out the politics and poetics that generated them. Artists discussed include Antonin Artaud, George Brecht, William Burroughs, John Cage, Sergei Eisenstein, Fluxus, Allan Kaprow, Michael McClure, Yoko Ono, Jackson Pollock, Luigi Russolo, and Dziga Vertov.

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Noise, water, meat: a history of sound in the arts

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The role of sound in the spectrum of artistic disciplines is one of unique and boundless dimensions. In his new book, Kahn (media arts, Univ. of Technology, Sydney, Australia) examines the history ... Read full review


Significant Noises
Drawing the Line Music Noise and Phonography
The Impossible Inaudible
Water Flows and Flux
Meat Voices

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(MIT Press, 1999).

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