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Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  192 ratings  ·  13 reviews
An examination of the role of sound in twentieth-century arts.This interdisciplinary history and theory of sound in the arts reads the twentieth century by listening to it--to the emphatic and exceptional sounds of modernism and those on the cusp of postmodernism, recorded sound, noise, silence, the fluid sounds of immersion and dripping, and the meat voices of viruses, sc ...more
Paperback, 472 pages
Published August 24th 2001 by MIT Press (first published 1999)
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Aug 17, 2008 rated it liked it
How could he have excluded Pauline Oliveros!!!!
David Ashley
Nov 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Always find this book really intriguing but almost impenetrable, have tried to read it cover to cover many times but always end up giving up. Maybe others will find more to love here. Still, not a bad book by any means but be warned that it can be a hard read.
Sep 26, 2007 rated it liked it
SCIENTOLOGY, why are you everywhere? and why does everything I touch point to a career in body work???
Yi Kee
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
A book fill of profound theories, concept describing the modernist period. This book in my opinion is a Cage-centered book, much discussion were oriented with Cage's concept, biographies , books, beliefs and statements, which then leads to the shaping of Avant-Garde music scene. This is a book full of information but rarely any insights from the author. ...more
Owen Davis
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Life changer! A deep insight and history of experimental sound practices.
Mar 19, 2015 rated it liked it
I come back to this book from time to time whenever I get interested in sound art, but it's never as juicy as I think it should be. I don't mind dense theory, but Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts is too vague and too opaque to hold my interest for long. There are very good chapters such as "The Parameters of All Sound", which touches on inaudible Fluxus work, but others have little to do with auditory phenomena at all. Paint dripping on canvas? Language virus? I don't think so. ...more
Ayanna Dozier
Oct 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Kahn provides an interesting examination on the use/role of sound in the arts. This book leaves much to be explored however and is quite masculine in its approach to sound. This is particularly noted when Kahn discusses the role of the scream in sound art. Screams are aggressive and are only featured in relation to masculinity or themes surrounding such. I don't critique this in a manner that suggests that women's screams have to be void of aggression but rather that for Kahn the role of the scr ...more
Jan 01, 2008 rated it liked it
very interesting at times. sometimes it meanders into territory that doesn't hold my attention and strays from the core aims of the book. very dense. its a compendium of ideas that i return to often. ...more
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Mentioning Maldoror and Poems in the introduction - boom ting!
Sep 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Lil to nothing of sonic weaponary... But plenty on Italian/Russian Futurism...
Feb 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Still one of the best overviews of the history and influence of sound in the arts.
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great book regarding predecessors of new media.
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Douglas Kahn is Professor of Media and Innovation at the National Institute for Experimental Arts at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is author or editor of several books, including Noise Water Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts (1999) and, most recently, Source: Music of the Avant-Garde (2011) and Mainframe Experimentalism (2012).

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