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Title: Loud Speaker: Towards a Component Theory of Media Sound
Authors: Cluett, Seth Allen
Advisors: Burnham, Scott
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: loudspeaker
media studies
sonic art
sound art
Subjects: Music
Art history
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Loud Speaker: Towards a Component Theory of Media Sound develops a preliminary theory of component analysis that uses the role of the loudspeaker in acoustic technologies as a model for thinking about sound in media, music, and art. By identifying the concept of a component as integral to a range of media, this model counters the compartmentalization of elements of media studies, music theory, and art history that are better understood within their working environment, contributing to an irreducible multi-sensory whole. Treating technologies that are shared by multiple media, my argument constructs a critical assessment of media that observes parallels between the use of the loudspeaker as a mass-market content delivery apparatus and the creative deployment of sound by musicians and artists working in a range of media since the middle of the twentieth century. The study is divided into two parts. The first consists of three thematically linked chapters. Chapter One traces the affordances of the loudspeaker through manifestations in radio, television, music, and sound art; this chapter initiates a vocabulary for analyzing component technologies situated within both media devices and aesthetic objects. Case studies include the work of Lewitt, Behrens, and Meatyard. Chapter Two uses the model of a component to attempt integrated readings of works by artists who use sound and includes analyses of pieces by Tinguely, Schneeman, Hill, and Huyghe. These historically and materially diverse works present sound as a central factor in the legibility of works that actively highlight the multi-modal character of twentieth-century creative production. Chapter Three unites the loudspeaker and sound towards a rethinking of the discourse of power in the public sphere. By assessing the language used to describe power relationships when sound is treated as distinct from vision, the chapter concludes with an analysis of amplification as a form of transmission for the voice and addresses the politics of amplification in public discourse. The second part consists of a single chapter discussing the author's creative output in the context of the material developed in first three chapters. The dissertation composition/installation forms of forgetting is discussed alongside the work that led to its development. A supplementary file containing audio for forms of forgetting has been provided to accompany this document.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Music

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