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

Friedrich Kittler, Ana Ofak (eds.): Medien vor den Medien (2007) [German]

3 January 2014, dusan

“Das Dazwischen (to metaxy) macht das Sehen und Hören, die Erkenntnis und die Liebe erst möglich – das überliefern uns Texte der Antike. Die Medien prägen so unser Wissen und verstören unsere Sinne seit jeher. In der deutschen Medienwissenschaft ist es fast zur Selbstverständlichkeit geworden, nur heutige oder doch neuzeitliche Medien zu erforschen. Nun geht aber schon der Begriff “Medium” auf die griechische Antike zurück. Eben diesem Sachverhalt sucht der Band Medien vor den Medien gerecht zu werden. Vom Feuertelegraphen zur Ontologie, vom Marienglas zur sakralen Lichtarchitektur und immer wieder vom Ton zum Bild. Da die Medien der Antike zunächst zur Sprache kommen, wird es möglich, Brücken zu anderen Wissenschaftskulturen und in jene Neuzeit zu schlagen, die unseren kurrenten Begriff physikalischer und technischer Medien prägt. Das Buch richtet sich an Philosophen, Kunst-, Kultur- und Medienwissenschaftler.”

Publisher Fink, Munich, 2007
Kulturtechnik series
ISBN 3770542843, 9783770542840
282 pages
via adorno77

Cultural techniques at Monoskop wiki


PDF (53 MB, no OCR, updated on 2020-4-20)

Wolfgang Ernst: Digital Memory and the Archive (2012)

16 November 2013, dusan

“In the popular imagination, archives are remote, largely obsolete institutions: either antiquated, inevitably dusty libraries or sinister repositories of personal secrets maintained by police states. Yet the archive is now a ubiquitous feature of digital life. Rather than being deleted, e-mails and other computer files are archived. Media software and cloud storage allow for the instantaneous cataloging and preservation of data, from music, photographs, and videos to personal information gathered by social media sites.

In this digital landscape, the archival-oriented media theories of Wolfgang Ernst are particularly relevant. Digital Memory and the Archive, the first English-language collection of the German media theorist’s work, brings together essays that present Ernst’s controversial materialist approach to media theory and history. His insights are central to the emerging field of media archaeology, which uncovers the role of specific technologies and mechanisms, rather than content, in shaping contemporary culture and society.

Ernst’s interrelated ideas on the archive, machine time and microtemporality, and the new regimes of memory offer a new perspective on both current digital culture and the infrastructure of media historical knowledge. For Ernst, different forms of media systems—from library catalogs to sound recordings—have influenced the content and understanding of the archive and other institutions of memory. At the same time, digital archiving has become a contested site that is highly resistant to curation, thus complicating the creation and preservation of cultural memory and history. ”

Edited and with an Introduction by Jussi Parikka
Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2012
Volume 39 of Electronic Mediations
ISBN 0816677670, 9780816677672
265 pages

Reviews: Liam Cole Young (Reviews in Cultural Theory, 2013), Peter Ward (Information & Culture, 2014).



For more from Wolfgang Ernst see Monoskop wiki.