Thor Magnusson: Sonic Writing: Technologies of Material, Symbolic, and Signal Inscriptions (2019)

16 September 2019, dusan

Sonic Writing explores how contemporary music technologies trace their ancestry to previous forms of instruments and media. Studying the domains of instrument design, musical notation, and sound recording under the rubrics of material, symbolic, and signal inscriptions of sound, the book describes how these historical techniques of sonic writing are implemented in new digital music technologies. With a scope ranging from ancient Greek music theory, medieval notation, early modern scientific instrumentation to contemporary multimedia and artificial intelligence, it provides a theoretical grounding for further study and development of technologies of musical expression. The book draws a bespoke affinity and similarity between current musical practices and those from before the advent of notation and recording, stressing the importance of instrument design in the study of new music and projecting how new computational technologies, including machine learning, will transform our musical practices.

Sonic Writing offers a richly illustrated study of contemporary musical media, where interactivity, artificial intelligence, and networked devices disclose new possibilities for musical expression. Thor Magnusson provides a conceptual framework for the creation and analysis of this new musical work, arguing that contemporary sonic writing becomes a new form of material and symbolic design–one that is bound to be ephemeral, a system of fluid objects where technologies are continually redesigned in a fast cycle of innovation.”

Publisher Bloomsbury Academic, New York & London, 2019
ISBN 9781501313851, 1501313851
xiv+290 pages

Reviews: Gregory Taylor (Cycling ’74, 2019), Diana Chester (Interference, 2019).

Author’s research blog
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WorldCat

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Culture Machine, 17: Thermal Objects (2019)

8 May 2019, dusan

“This special issue of Culture Machine addresses thermal processes, bodies and media. When heat and cold appear in the humanities and social sciences, they are often treated exclusively as metaphors—think of Ferdinand Tönnies’s description of the modern, urbanized society as a cooling process that freezes the warm, authentic community; or Marshall McLuhan’s distinction between hot and cold media. While thermal metaphors turn out to be useful—perhaps even constitutive—tools that make abstract notions imaginable and tangible, recent discussions on the materiality of the social offer a productive background for new theorizations of temperatures that exceed their metaphorical valences.

This special issue aims to rethink the relation of metaphor and materiality: How can we theoretically account for thermal mechanisms as balance, transfer or collapse? What does it mean to perform hot or cool critical theoretical interventions? These and other questions will be investigated across three temperature-related dimensions: the senses, thermic media and thermopolitics.” (from CfP)

With contributions by Elena Beregow, Wolfgang Ernst, Erhard Schüttpelz, Samir Bhowmik, Paula Schönach, Nigel Clark, Nicole Starosielski, Niall Martin, John Hockey and Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson, Hilary Bergen, Gunnar Schmidt, and Agustina Andreoletti.

Edited by Elena Beregow
Publisher Open Humanities Press, April 2019
Open Access
ISSN 1465-4121

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Eleni Ikoniadou, Scott Wilson (eds.): Media After Kittler (2015)

23 October 2018, dusan

“Is it possible to incite a turn towards Media Philosophy, a field that accounts for the autonomy of media, for machine agency and for the new modalities of thought and subjectivity that these enable, rather than dwelling on representations, audiences and extensions of the self?

In the wake of the field-defining work done by Friedrich Kittler, this important collection of essays takes a philosophical approach to the end of the media era in the traditional sense and outlines the implications of a turn that sees media become concepts of the middle, of connection, and of multitude—across diverse disciplines and theoretical perspectives. An expert panel of contributors, working at the cutting edge of media theory, analyze the German thinker’s legacy and the possibilities his thought can unfold for media theory. This book examines the present and future condition of mediation, within the wider context of media studies in a digital age.”

Publisher Rowman & Littlefield International, London, 2015
ISBN 9781783481217, 1783481218
vi+197 pages

Review: Clare Pettitt (Media History, 2016).

Conference (with audio recordings, 2013)
Publisher
WorldCat

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