The Unreliable Mediator: Speakers in Sound Art heard through Music on a Long Thin Wire

Prior, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8750-445X (2020) The Unreliable Mediator: Speakers in Sound Art heard through Music on a Long Thin Wire. In: The Oxford Handbook of Sound Art. Oxford University Press Handbooks . Oxford University Press, New York. ISBN Pending (In Press)

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Abstract / Summary

Within the array of sounding devices that have been deployed in the making of sound art, the speaker has a special status. Emerging during a period in which music and fine art practices had long since integrated electronic technology, sound art was born into an epoch of recording and amplification. Although not ubiquitous, the extent of the speaker’s influence on sound art cannot be underestimated, and yet its technical, semiotic, cultural and ontological characteristics have attracted relatively little critical commentary.

One of the characteristics of sound art that differentiated it from the experimental musical traditions that formed part of its heritage, was the greater degree of scrutiny it gave to the materials of its construction. In this way, sound art has frequently positioned itself within the discourse of contemporary sculpture and installation art and as such, both the affordances of sound itself and the materials of its technical apparatus need to be understood as different dimensions of what constitutes its medium. This brief survey of the uses of speakers in sound art uses Lucier’s Music on a Long Thin Wire as a case study in which the speaker is utilized not just for its ability to convey sonic meaning generated elsewhere but also as a thing in its own right.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBN: Pending
Subjects: Music
Music > Sound Art
Courses by Department: Academy of Innovation and Research > Research
Depositing User: David Prior
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2020 10:12
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2020 10:12
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/3950

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