Cracked Media: The Sound of Malfunction - download pdf or read online

By Caleb Kelly

From the mid-twentieth century into the twenty-first, artists and musicians manipulated, cracked, and broke audio media applied sciences to provide novel sounds and performances. Artists and musicians, together with John Cage, Nam June Paik, Yasunao Tone, and Oval, pulled aside either playback units (phonographs and compact disc gamers) and the recorded media (vinyl files and compact discs) to create a longer sound palette. In Cracked Media, Caleb Kelly explores how the planned usage of the generally bad (a crack, a holiday) has turn into the location of effective construction. Cracked media, Kelly writes, slides throughout disciplines, via track, sound, and noise. Cracked media encompasses every thing from Cage's silences and indeterminacies, to Paik's frequently funny tape works, to the chilly and fresh sounds of electronic glitch within the paintings of Tone and Oval. Kelly bargains a close old account of those practices, arguing that they are often learn as precursors to modern new media.

Kelly appears on the nature of recording know-how and the track with regards to the crack and the holiday, and discusses many of the manifestations of noise, concluding that neither theories of recording nor theories of noise supply an sufficient framework for realizing cracked media. Connecting the historic avant-garde to modern day turntablism, and predigital damaging ideas to the electronic ticks, pops, and clicks of the glitch, Kelly proposes new media theorizations of cracked media that concentrate on materiality and the standard.

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Extra info for Cracked Media: The Sound of Malfunction

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It is not a study of technology driving creative practice—a form of technological determinism. Jonathan Sterne, in his book The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction, argues that technologies cannot be simply read through “impact narratives”: In “impact” narratives, technologies are mysterious beings with obscure origins that come down from the sky to “impact” human relations. ”26 Technology does not appear in a finished state ready to be passively consumed; instead it is in a constant state of development in the market and the domestic sphere, as well as in historical and theoretical discourses.

Again, it seems sensible to look directly at theories of noise, which may then be applied to the practices analyzed in this discussion. The sounds produced by the musicians and artists considered here are, after all, based in noise. These practices are filled with noise—quiet and loud; gentle and destructive; moderate and intense. If noise is at the core of the practices of broken and cracked media, then it is necessary to locate what noise means in terms of these practices and to consider whether existing theoretical approaches to noise can be utilized for this purpose.

These leaps of faith led to a belief in the system and in very real 30 Introduction terms allowed it to become a usable technology given the very great audio limitations of the early versions of the device. The function of the sound itself was contingent on the belief that mediation would, at an end point, disappear, allowing a truly transparent perfect copy of the original live event. ”34 This goal has not, of course, been reached, and in fact through the practice of cracked media we see that mediation itself has become the object of sound creation, composition, and performance.

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