Sound art

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Sound art is an artistic discipline in which sound is utilised as a primary medium. Like many genres of contemporary art, sound art may be interdisciplinary in nature, or be used in hybrid forms.

In Western art, early examples include Luigi Russolo's Intonarumori or noise intoners (1913), and subsequent experiments by Dadaists, Surrealists, the Situationist International, and in Fluxus happenings. Because of the diversity of sound art, there is often debate about whether sound art falls within the domains of visual art or experimental music, or both.[1] Other artistic lineages from which sound art emerges are conceptual art, minimalism, site-specific art, sound poetry, electro-acoustic music, spoken word, avant-garde poetry, sound scenography,[2] and experimental theatre.[3]

Origin of the term in the United States[edit]

According to Dunaway's paper on the history of Sound Art, the term "began to be used loosely in the avant-garde scene in the 1970s."[4] It "was used interchangeably with other terms such as sonic art, audio art, sound poetry, sound sculpture, and experimental music (to name a few)."[5] One of the first published uses of the term was in Something Else Press in their 1974 Yearbook.[6]

The first use "as the title of an exhibition at a major museum was 1979’s Sound Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA)," featuring Maggie Payne, Connie Beckley, and Julia Heyward. [7] The curator, Barbara London defined the term thusly, "'Sound art' pieces are more closely allied to art than to music, and are usually presented in the museum, gallery, or alternative space."[8]

Later, in 1983, the art historian Don Goddard would expand on this, writing about an exhibition called "Sound/Art" at The Sculpture Center in New York City in 1983 "It may be that sound art adheres to curator Hellermann's perception that 'hearing is another form of seeing,' that sound has meaning only when its connection with an image is understood... The conjunction of sound and image insists on the engagement of the viewer, forcing participation in real space and concrete, responsive thought rather than illusionary space and thought."[9]

Sound art in Europe[edit]

Germany[edit]

Originally from Amsterdam, but moved to Berlin is Staalplaat, a record label focused on sound art and experimental music.

Transmediale is a yearly festival focused on media art, covering many sound art performances and installations.[10][11]

Global sound art[edit]

Since the early 1950's Japanese artists involved in the Fluxus and Gutai movement have played a role in the development of Sound Art, including the 1955 work 'Work Bell' by Atsuko Tanaka, which at the time was described as 'living sound' and 'painting with sound' [12] [13] [14] Tanaka's most famous work 'Electric Dress', consisting of around 200 painted incandescent lights worn as a dress emitted a sonic element, namely the buzzing of the bulbs and the sound of the bulbs connecting with each other each time a small electric shock was felt by the wearer [15] [16]

Sound art organizations and festivals[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kenneth Goldsmith, Duchamp Is My Lawyer: The Polemics, Pragmatics, and Poetics of UbuWeb, Columbia University Press, New York, p. 125
  2. ^ Atelier Brückner (2010). Scenography / Szenografie - Making spaces talk / Narrative Räume. Stuttgart: avedition. p. 209.
  3. ^ Kenneth Goldsmith, Duchamp Is My Lawyer: The Polemics, Pragmatics, and Poetics of UbuWeb, Columbia University Press, New York, p. 136
  4. ^ Dunaway, Judy (May 7, 2020). "The Forgotten 1979 MoMA Sound Art Exhibition". Resonance. doi:10.1525/res.2020.1.1.25. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  5. ^ Dunaway, Judy (May 7, 2020). "The Forgotten 1979 MoMA Sound Art Exhibition". Resonance. doi:10.1525/res.2020.1.1.25. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  6. ^ Herman, Jan, ed. (1974). Something Else Yearbook 1974. Barton, VT: Something Else Press.
  7. ^ Dunaway, Judy (May 7, 2020). "The Forgotten 1979 MoMA Sound Art Exhibition". Resonance. doi:10.1525/res.2020.1.1.25. Retrieved 13 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Museum of Modern Art, Museum exhibition features works incorporating sound, press release no. 42 for Sound Art exhibition 25 June–5 August 1979" (Exh. 1266). MoMA Archives.
  9. ^ Hellerman and Goddard 1983,[page needed].
  10. ^ "Transmediale". Berlin.de. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  11. ^ "About". Transmediale. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
  12. ^ Mizuho, Kato (2011). Atsuko Tanaka. Ikon. pp. 39–50. ISBN 978-1-904864-71-4. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  13. ^ Washida, Meruro. "about work bell" (PDF). 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  14. ^ Ritter, Gabriel. Dallas Museum of Art https://collections.dma.org/artwork/5335392. Retrieved 19 July 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Wallace, Caroline. Post War at Hausderkunst. Hausderkunst https://postwar.hausderkunst.de/en/artworks-artists/artworks/electric-dress. Retrieved 30 April 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ Ming, Tiampo (2004). Electrifying Painting. Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. p. 74. Retrieved 30 April 2020.

References[edit]

  • Kenneth Goldsmith, Duchamp Is My Lawyer: The Polemics, Pragmatics, and Poetics of UbuWeb, Columbia University Press, New York
  • Hellerman, William, and Don Goddard. 1983. Catalogue for "Sound/Art" at The Sculpture Center, New York City, May 1–30, 1983 and BACA/DCC Gallery June 1–30, 1983.
  • Kahn, Douglas. 2001. Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts. Cambridge: MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-61172-4.
  • Licht, Alan. 2007. Sound Art: Beyond Music, Between Categories (with accompanying compact disc recording). New York: Rizzoli International Publications. ISBN 0-8478-2969-3.

Further reading[edit]