Alexander G. Weheliye: Phonographies: Grooves in Sonic Afro-Modernity (2005)

9 June 2020, dusan

Phonographies explores the numerous links and relays between twentieth-century black cultural production and sound technologies from the phonograph to the Walkman. Highlighting how black authors, filmmakers, and musicians have actively engaged with recorded sound in their work, Alexander G. Weheliye contends that the interplay between sound technologies and black music and speech enabled the emergence of modern black culture, of what he terms ‘sonic Afro-modernity’. He shows that by separating music and speech from their human sources, sound-recording technologies beginning with the phonograph generated new modes of thinking, being, and becoming. Black artists used these new possibilities to revamp key notions of modernity—among these, ideas of subjectivity, temporality, and community. Phonographies is a powerful argument that sound technologies are integral to black culture, which is, in turn, fundamental to Western modernity.

Weheliye surveys literature, film, and music to focus on engagements with recorded sound. He offers substantial new readings of canonical texts by W. E. B. Du Bois and Ralph Ellison, establishing dialogues between these writers and popular music and film ranging from Louis Armstrong’s voice to DJ mixing techniques to Darnell Martin’s 1994 movie I Like It Like That. Looking at how questions of diasporic belonging are articulated in contemporary black musical practices, Weheliye analyzes three contemporary Afro-diasporic musical acts: the Haitian and African American rap group the Fugees, the Afro- and Italian-German rap collective Advanced Chemistry, and black British artist Tricky and his partner Martina. Phonographies imagines the African diaspora as a virtual sounding space, one that is marked, in the twentieth century and twenty-first, by the circulation of culture via technological reproductions—records and tapes, dubbing and mixing, and more.”

Publisher Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 2005
ISBN 0822335778, 9780822335771
xii+286 pages

Reviews: Matthew Somoroff (NewBlackMan, 2006), Greg Tate (Souls, 2007), Emma Louise Kilkelly (Journal of American Studies, 2007), George Lipsitz (Journal of the Society for American Music, 2008).

Commentary: Alexander G. Weheliye (Small Axe, 2014), Tavia Nyong’o (Small Axe, 2014).

Publisher
WorldCat

PDF

Ursula Block, Michael Glasmeier (eds.): Broken Music: Artists’ Recordworks (1989) [DE, EN, FR]

26 May 2020, dusan

Broken Music is a compendium for records created by visual artists.

Works chosen for the publication revolved around four criteria: (1) record covers created as original work by visual artists; (2) record or sound-producing objects (multiples/editions/sculptures); (3) books and publications that contain a record or recorded-media object; and (4) records or recorded media that have sound by visual artists.

The book features essays by both editors as well as Theodor W. Adorno, René Block, Jean Dubuffet, Milan Knížák, László Moholy-Nagy, Christiane Seiffert, and Hans Rudolf Zeller. The centerpiece of the publication is a nearly 200-page bibliography of artists’ records.”

Published as a catalogue of an exhibition held at daad galerie Berlin, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, and Magasin Grenoble.

Publisher Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD, and gelbe Musik Berlin, Berlin, 1989
ISBN 3893570136, 9783893570133
278 pages

Interviews with editor: Alan Licht (BOMB, 2018), Max Oppel (Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 2018, DE).
Reviews: Ágnes Ivacs (Artpool, n.d.), Geeta Dayal (4Columns, 2018), Matt Krefting (The Wire, 2018), Gregory Taylor (Cycling 74, 2018).

Reprint (2019)
WorldCat

PDF (46 MB)

Guy Schranen: Vinyl: Records and Covers by Artists: A Survey (2005)

18 November 2019, dusan

Vinyl shows a selection from the collection of Guy Schraenen held by the Centre for Artists’ Publications in the Neues Museum Weserburg in Bremen. The main of this collection comprises vinyl records and covers by artists, musicians and poets in LP, single and other formats, alongside other sound media (tapes and CDs). The catalogue shows artists (such as Hanne Darboven, Jean Dubuffet, Dieter Roth, Joseph Beuys, Laurie Anderson, Yves Klein, Roman Opalka and Hermann Nitsch) and artistic movements of the second half of the twentieth century through this complex medium, with its dual visual and audible components.”

Publisher Research Centre for Artists’ Publications/Neues Museum Weserburg, Bremen, and Museu d’Art Contemporani (MACBA), Barcelona, 2005
ISBN 8489771162, 9788489771161
268 pages
via ARCH

WorldCat

PDF (24 MB)