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There is no soundtrackRethinking art, media, and the audio-visual contract$
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Ming-Yuen S. Ma

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526142122

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526142139

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Media soundscapes: listening to installation and performance

Media soundscapes: listening to installation and performance

(p.121) 3 Media soundscapes: listening to installation and performance
There is no soundtrack

Ming-Yuen S. Ma

Manchester University Press

The first of the two concluding chapters considers how one might proceed with a comprehensive study of sound in contemporary media installation and performance art – a daunting prospect considering their current ubiquity and sheer diversity in the globalized art world. This chapter proposes several rubrics: theory and history, empirical research, direct listening and observation, and institutional practices through which one may begin to conceptualize one such study. These rubrics are tested against a survey of over two hundred artists working in media installation and performance globally, three recent exhibitions, as well as a preliminary look (and listen) into the institutional and material conditions that enable the exhibition and presentation of such works in museums, galleries, and alternative art spaces. These methodological experiments suggest that how we listen to media installations and performance may have more to do with the architecture, construction, labor, and expertise in these institutions than the art and artists themselves.

Keywords:   soundscape, acoustic architecture, exhibition design, installation, institutional critique

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