Listening to the world. Sound, Media and Intermediality in Contemporary Sound Art.
Keywords:Sound Art, intermediality, experience, acoustemology
One of the newer tendencies in contemporary sound art is the use of scientific modes of data collection through laboratory set ups or field recordings, as it is for instance seen in media artist Anne Niemetz' and nano-scientist Andrew Pelling's The Dark Side of the Cell (2004) or Katie Egan and Joe Davies Audio Microscope (2000). This article tries to describe how the sound experience is conditioned by such art projects. The main argument in the article is that in such art projects we are not just experiencing ‘the world’, ‘the sound’, ‘the technology’ or ‘the listening’ but the mediating gesture happening between these positions. In order to describe this complex mediating operation the article uses a variety of media and intermedial theory particularly Lars Elleströms (Elleström, 2010) distinctions between qualified, basic and technical media. The latter is used to describe how the intermediality of such sound art projects is not just between conventional medias of art – as for instance text and sound – but between very different media aspects such as “sound” and “microphone” and “art”. On behalf of such an analysis the article claims that these art projects can be seen as an articulation of an auditory turn, in which sound no longer appears to be a transparent channel between us and the world, but rather a media conditioning that which is experienced.
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