Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio, and the Avant-Garde

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Overview

Wireless Imagination addresses perhaps the most conspicuous silence in contemporary theory and art criticism, the silence that surrounds the polyphonous histories of audio art. Composed of both original essays and several newly translated documents, this book provides a close audition to some of the most telling and soundful moments in the "deaf century," conceived and performed by such artists as Raymond Roussel, Antonin Artaud, Marcel Duchamp, André Breton, John Cage,Hugo Ball, Kurt Weill, and William Burroughs.From the late nineteenth century to the 1960s, the essays uncover the fantastic acoustic scenarios projected through the writings of Raymond Roussel; the aural objects of Marcel Duchamp; Dziga Vertov's proposal for a phonographic "laboratory of hearing"; the ZAUM language and Radio Sorcery conjured by Velimir Khlebnikov; the iconoclastic castaways of F. T.

Marinetti's La Radia; the destroyed musics of the Surrealists; the noise bands of Russolo, Foregger, Varèse, and Cage; the contorted radio talk show delivered by Antonin Artaud; the labyrinthine inner journeys invoked by German Hörspiel; and the razor contamination and cut-up ventriloquism of William S. Burroughs.Douglas Kahn is Associate Professor of Media Arts at Arizona State University. Gregory Whitehead is an audio artist who produces radio transmissions and events.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Think of this book as a radio station with some really good shows.

Think of yourself as a radio." Joshua Clover, San Francisco Review of Books

"Wireless Imagination is a beautifully produced collection of essays on the interplay between art, noise, experimental music, and technology.... An enlightening exploration of a little-known area of art history." Gareth Branwyn,Wired

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262611046
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 10/5/1995
  • Pages: 468
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas KAHN is founding Director of Technocultural Studies at University of California at Davis. He is the author of Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts (MIT Press, 1999).

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Histories of Sound Once Removed 1
The Phonograph's Horned Mouth 31
The Lamentations of Edison, From L'Eve Future (1886) 63
Death in Light of the Phonograph: Raymond Roussel's Locus Solus 69
Marcel Duchamp's Gap Music: Operations in the Space Between Art and Noise 105
Banging on the Windowpane: Sound in Early Surrealism 139
Give Me the Anathema, Lascivious Thing (1915) 191
Songs From the Museum of the Future: Russian Sound Creation (1910-1930) 197
The Symphony of Sirens (1923) 245
Out of the Dark: Notes on the Nobodies of Radio Art 253
La Radia (1933) 265
Radio, Death, and the Devil: Artaud's Pour En Finir Avec Le Jugement De Dieu 269
To have Done with the Judgment of God (1947) 309
Soundplay: The Polyphonous Tradition of German Radio Art 331
The Ear that Would Hear Sounds in Themselves: John Cage 1935-1965 373
Sound Identity Fading Out: William Burroughs' Tape Experiments 409
Notes on Contributors 439
Index 441
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