Philip Marchand: Marshall McLuhan: The Medium and the Messenger (1989)

22 March 2014, dusan

He was described as “the greatest put-on artist of all time” and even as the greatest intellectual pioneer since Freud. Bouncing back and forth between the quiet University of Toronto campus and the glitzy world of the New York media, McLuhan was surely the most unlikely prophet of the sixties, yet his work underlies any serious discussion of the effects of media on our lives. (from the back cover)

Publisher Ticknor & Fields, New York, 1989
ISBN 0899194850
320 pages

Review (Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times Books, 1989)
Review (E. Hamilton, Canadian Literature, 2001)
Review (Robert McKenzie, IPCT, 1994)
Review (William H. Melody, Information, Communication & Society, undated)

Author

PDF (50 MB, no OCR)

Douglas Kahn: Earth Sound Earth Signal: Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts (2013)

15 March 2014, dusan

Earth Sound Earth Signal is a study of energies in aesthetics and the arts, from the birth of modern communications in the nineteenth century to the global transmissions of the present day. Douglas Kahn begins by evoking the Aeolian sphere music that Henry David Thoreau heard blowing along telegraph lines and the Aelectrosonic sounds of natural radio that Thomas Watson heard through the first telephone; he then traces the histories of science, media, music, and the arts to the 1960s and beyond. Earth Sound Earth Signal rethinks energy at a global scale, from brainwaves to outer space, through detailed discussions of musicians, artists and scientists such as Alvin Lucier, Edmond Dewan, Pauline Oliveros, John Cage, James Turrell, Robert Barry, Joyce Hinterding, and many others.”

Publisher University of California Press, 2013
ISBN 0520956834, 9780520956834
343 pages

Reviews: Alessandro Ludovico (Neural, 2013), Christopher Haworth (Organised Sound, 2015).

Publisher

PDF (removed on 2014-3-19 upon request of the publisher)

Jonathan Sterne: The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction (2003)

19 February 2014, dusan

The Audible Past explores the cultural origins of sound reproduction. It describes a distinctive sound culture that gave birth to the sound recording and the transmission devices so ubiquitous in modern life. With an ear for the unexpected, scholar and musician Jonathan Sterne uses the technological and cultural precursors of telephony, phonography, and radio as an entry point into a history of sound in its own right. Sterne studies the constantly shifting boundary between phenomena organized as “sound” and “not sound.” In The Audible Past, this history crisscrosses the liminal regions between bodies and machines, originals and copies, nature and culture, and life and death.

Blending cultural studies and the history of communication technology, Sterne follows modern sound technologies back through a historical labyrinth. Along the way, he encounters capitalists and inventors, musicians and philosophers, embalmers and grave robbers, doctors and patients, deaf children and their teachers, professionals and hobbyists, folklorists and tribal singers. The Audible Past tracks the connections between the history of sound and the defining features of modernity: from developments in medicine, physics, and philosophy to the tumultuous shifts of industrial capitalism, colonialism, urbanization, modern technology, and the rise of a new middle class.

A provocative history of sound, The Audible Past challenges theoretical commonplaces such as the philosophical privilege of the speaking subject, the visual bias in theories of modernity, and static descriptions of nature. It will interest those in cultural studies, media and communication studies, the new musicology, and the history of technology.”

Publisher Duke University Press, 2003
ISBN 082233013X, 9780822330134
450 pages
via nutzenberg

Review (James P. Kraft, The American Historical Review)
Review (Karin Bijsterveld, Technology and Culture)

Author
Publisher

PDF (low quality scan, no OCR, 40 MB)
EPUB (added on 2014-1-21)