Michel Chion: Film, a Sound Art (2003/2009)

29 January 2015, dusan

“French critic and composer Michel Chion argues that watching movies is more than just a visual exercise—it enacts a process of audio-viewing. The audiovisual makes use of a wealth of tropes, devices, techniques, and effects that convert multiple sensations into image and sound, therefore rendering, instead of reproducing, the world through cinema.

The first half of Film, A Sound Art considers developments in technology, aesthetic trends, and individual artistic style that recast the history of film as the evolution of a truly audiovisual language. The second half explores the intersection of auditory and visual realms. With restless inventiveness, Chion develops a rhetoric that describes the effects of audio-visual combinations, forcing us to rethink sound film. He claims, for example, that the silent era (which he terms “deaf cinema”) did not end with the advent of sound technology but continues to function underneath and within later films. Expanding our appreciation of cinematic experiences ranging from Dolby multitrack in action films and the eerie tricycle of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining to the way actors from different nations use their voices and words, Film, A Sound Art showcases the vast knowledge and innovative thinking of a major theorist.”

First published as Art sonore, le cinema, 2003

Translated by Claudia Gorbman
Publisher Columbia University Press, 2009
ISBN 0231137761, 9780231137768
536 pages
via johnsonleow

Reviews: Knakkergaard (MedieKultur, 2010), Whittington (Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, 2010), Jaeckle (Quarterly Review of Film and Video, 2011).


PDF, PDF (Index missing, 58 MB, no OCR)
More from Chion

J. R. Pierce: Portrait of the Machine as a Young Artist (1965)

27 January 2015, dusan

“Mechanistic muses are expanding their domain to encompass every facet of creative activity.”

In this article published in the June 1965 issue of Playboy, Bell Labs engineer, communications satellite pioneer and science fiction writer John R. Pierce introduces the work done in computer music, literature, film, and visual art, and issues an invitation to artists to explore and “school” the computer to yield new paths.

Published in Playboy 12(6), 1965, pp 124-5 & 150 & 182 & 184
via Forum on the Genealogy of MediaThinking (the website contains many scans of essays on media theory and archaeology)

PDF (14 MB)

See also:
Grace Glueck’s criticism of computer art, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Computer, New York Times, 1983.
More writings by Pierce.

Series of Monographs on Cinema, 10 vols. (1931–33) [NL]

26 January 2015, dusan

This set of monographs on early twentieth-century film is as important for the discourses on cinema, as it is for the graphic design.

Each volume has a cover created by the Dutch “typotekt” Piet Zwart, who had multiple careers as an interior designer, industrial design, commercial typographer, photographer, critic and lecturer. At the close of the twentieth century, Zwart was named ‘Designer of the Century’ by the Association of Dutch Designers.

Originally planned in twelve volumes, the last two in the series were not published: De techniek van de kunstfilm by M.T.H. Franken and Joris Ivens and Filmreclame by Piet Zwart.

Film: die serie monografieën over filmkunst
Series edited by C.J. Graadt van Roggen
Cover design Piet Zwart
Publisher W.L. & J. Brusse’s Uitgeversmaatschappij, Rotterdam, 1931-33
via Bibliothèque Kandinsky

Wikipedia (NL)

1 Het linnen venster, by C.J. Graadt van Roggen (1931, 72 pp, 71 MB)
2 Dertig jaar film [Thirty Years of Film], by L.J. Jordan (1932, 79 pp, 73 MB)
3 Nederlandsche filmkunst, by Henrik Scholte (1933, 64 pp, 63 MB)
4 Russische filmkunst, by Th. B.F. Hoyer (1932, 84 pp, 85 MB)
5 Duitsche filmkunst [German Cinema], by Simon Koster (1931, 75 pp, 71 MB)
6 Fransche filmkunst, by Elisabeth de Roos (1931, 59 pp, 61 MB)
7 Amerikaansche filmkunst, by Jo Otten (1931, 70 pp, 71 MB)
8 De absolute film, by Menno ter Braak (1931, 50 pp, 50 MB), HTML (at DBNL)
9 De komische film, by Constant van Wessem (1931, 56 pp, 49 MB)
10 De geluidsfilm [Sound Film], by Lou Lichtveld (1933, 79 pp, 76 MB), HTML (at DBNL)

The Journal of Eugène Delacroix (1893/1995) [FR, EN]

24 January 2015, dusan

“The journal of the French 19th-century Romantic painter Eugène Delacroix is one of the most important works in the literature of art history. Expressive and unselfconsciously spontaneous, it offers a compelling insight into the painter’s life and the cultural scene of 19th-century Paris (his friends and acquaintances included Géricault, Stendhal, Victor Cousin, Baudelaire, George Sand, Chopin, Hugo, and Dumas).”

Journal de Eugène Delacroix
Compiled by Paul Flat and René Piot
Publisher Plon, Paris, 1893

English edition
A Selection Edited with an Introduction Hubert Wellington
Translated by Lucy Norton
First published in 1951
Third edition, Phaidon, 1995
ISBN 0714833592
570 pages

Reviews (of new French ed.): Wright (H-France Review, 2010), Barnes (Times Literary Supplement, 2010), O’Brien (19th-Century Art Worldwide, 2012).
Commentaries: Hannoosh (RIHA Journal, 2010, in French).

Publisher (EN)
Publisher (FR, 2009 edition)
WorldCat (EN)

Manuscripts (at INHA)
French edition, 1893: Tome 1: 1823-1850, Tome 2: 1850-1854, Tome 3: 1855-1863 (at Internet Archive), at Wikisource-FR
English edition, 1995: PDF (85 MB, no OCR)

Hubert Damisch: The Origin of Perspective (1987/1994)

24 January 2015, dusan

“In part a response to Panofsky’s Perspective as Symbolic Form, The Origin of Perspective is much more. In France it is considered one of the most important works of art history to have appeared in the last twenty years. With the exception of Michel Foucault’s analysis of Las Meninas, it is perhaps the first time a structuralist method such as the one developed by Claude Lévi-Strauss in The Way of the Masks has been thoroughly and convincingly applied to Western art.

The task Damisch has set for himself is to refute both the positivist critics, whose approach makes up the bulk of perspective studies and is based on a complete repression of Panofsky’s early work, and the current pseudo-avant-gardist position (whether in the field of cinema studies or in literary criticism), which tends to disregard facts and theoretical analysis. Damisch argues that if a theoretical analysis of perspective is possible, using all the tools of structuralist semiotics, it is only possible in the context of a close look at its appearance in history, beginning with the details of the ‘invention’ of perspective.”

Originally published in French as L’Origine de la perspective, Flammarion, Paris, 1987.

Translated by John Goodman
Publisher MIT Press, 1994
ISBN 0262041391, 9780262041393
477 pages

Review: Wood (The Art Bulletin, 1995).
Commentary: Iversen (Oxford Art Journal, 2005).


PDF (chapter 14 missing, 24 MB, no OCR)

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