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Like It Was a Movie: Cinematic Listening as Public Art

Betsey Biggs
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Betsey Biggs: Princeton University

No 1102, Working Papers from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies.

Abstract: The widespread use of personal stereos has created large numbers of listeners navigating the city in reverie, enjoying a synaesthetic relationship between what they see and the music they hear. Such sonic mediation to the body's experience has been described, and analyzed, as a form of 'physical cinema.' But how does this cinema work? And how might sound artists use these kinds of auditory interventions as sites for their own work? This current situation offers rich opportunities for artists to take advantage of the nonchalance with which the public now synthesizes disparate sonic and visual sources into complete, and very individual, filmic experiences. By analyzing the relationships among mediated sound, ambient sound and visual environment in a number of sound works situated in the public sphere (among them works by Janet Cardiff and Christina Kubisch), this paper aims to discover how sound artists might use the idea of "physical cinema" to broaden the audience's sensory spectrum and seduce them into creative engagement with their environment.

Keywords: Film; Motion Pictures (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z11 L82 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008-10
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