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

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An examination of the role of sound in twentieth-century arts.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, sc An examination of the role of sound in twentieth-century arts.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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An examination of the role of sound in twentieth-century arts.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, sc An examination of the role of sound in twentieth-century arts.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.

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

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Ashley

    Always find this book really intriguing but almost impenetrable, have tried to read it cover to cover many times but always end up giving up. Maybe others will find more to love here. Still, not a bad book by any means but be warned that it can be a hard read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    How could he have excluded Pauline Oliveros!!!!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cambra

    SCIENTOLOGY, why are you everywhere? and why does everything I touch point to a career in body work???

  4. 4 out of 5

    Owen Davis

    Life changer! A deep insight and history of experimental sound practices.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ayanna Dozier

    Kahn provides an interesting examination on the use/role of sound in the arts. This book leaves much to be explored however and is quite masculine in its approach to sound. This is particularly noted when Kahn discusses the role of the scream in sound art. Screams are aggressive and are only featured in relation to masculinity or themes surrounding such. I don't critique this in a manner that suggests that women's screams have to be void of aggression but rather that for Kahn the role of the scr Kahn provides an interesting examination on the use/role of sound in the arts. This book leaves much to be explored however and is quite masculine in its approach to sound. This is particularly noted when Kahn discusses the role of the scream in sound art. Screams are aggressive and are only featured in relation to masculinity or themes surrounding such. I don't critique this in a manner that suggests that women's screams have to be void of aggression but rather that for Kahn the role of the scream is like a primal urge to aggregate, à la Artaud, and in that sense comes from a masculine place. I'm almost certain that theorists have picked up on this and I don't believe that Kahn believes that scream in art is only framed within this binary model, it's just how he writes about it in this book though and that's a shame.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jsun

    very interesting at times. sometimes it meanders into territory that doesn't hold my attention and strays from the core aims of the book. very dense. its a compendium of ideas that i return to often.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Justyna

    Mentioning Maldoror and Poems in the introduction - boom ting!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    Lil to nothing of sonic weaponary... But plenty on Italian/Russian Futurism...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Still one of the best overviews of the history and influence of sound in the arts.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Treynolds

    Great book regarding predecessors of new media.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ava Grayson

  13. 4 out of 5

    Neil

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

  15. 4 out of 5

    Bob

  16. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joe Onishi

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Hulser

  19. 5 out of 5

    Casey Anderson

  20. 5 out of 5

    Neil Molitoris

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrej Kabal

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dr Oliver

  23. 5 out of 5

    KC

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tolga

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ben

  26. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Haighton

  27. 5 out of 5

    Zacenoh Eno

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tameka

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alona Frankel

  30. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

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