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Sound and Visual Media Fall, 2016

Major Essay Assignment
This paper will critically engage one of the core questions, ideas, concepts or practices explored in this class. IT SHOULD BE ANALYTIC AND REFLECTIVE, AND NOT SIMPLY DESCRIPTIVE. The paper should exhibit original research and include sources supplemental to the class readings.
The two main foci of this class are (a) the study of sound and aurality as a social, technological and aesthetic practice, and (b) the relationship between these aural practices and related or associated visual media. With this in mind, this paper should engage some aspect of either of these questions. Ideally, your paper will draw on some problem, issue or insight from class that has sparked your attention. To help you along this path I offer some general questions and ideas. These are only suggested topics, so feel free to develop one on your own or in conjunction with me. If you’d like my help developing a topic, please see me in person during office hours.
1) Explore the history of a particular form of creative aural practice, and explore it’s connection to related visual practices. For e.g. – phonography or DJ-ing as a cultural form – acoustic architecture – sound poetry – the development of multi-channel audio installations – sound design for film, video, gaming, theater, television, etc.
2) What is the relationship between the idea of sound as a social problem (i.e. noise) and a specific technology that is involved with this problem Is there a visual dimension to this “problem” – technologies that cause problems – technologies that might ameliorate this problem
3) Explore the work and ideas of a particular sound artist, discussing and contextualizing their work historically and theoretically.
4) What are some intersections between sound (or visual) art as a “high” cultural practice and related or similar applications in the realm of popular culture For example, how might you relate the radiophonic work of John Cage to that of Scanner Are there grounds to compare the Dadaist collage art of John Heartfield and the music of Negativland
5) Compare the sound practice of a given communication medium in two or more cultural, social or historical contexts. For e.g., – How does the approach/treatment/practice of sound in Indian cinema differ from American (or Italian, or French, etc.) cinema – How does sound of contemporary theater differ from the theater of Shakespeare’s time

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