Discussing the Relationship between Sound and Image: The Scope of Audio/Visual Strategies in a Contemporary Art Context

By Andrea Thoma.

Published by The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: September 8, 2015 $US5.00

Guy Debord challenged our consumption of images as pertaining to the "Society of the Spectacle." Hence, in his film "Hurlements en faveur de Sade" (1952) there are no images, other than a white screen or a black screen, the former as visual backdrop to an audio track expressing Debord’s "situationist" critique, the silence of the latter to reinforce the perception of (audio-visual) absence thus confronting the audience with its (frustrated) expectations and desires. John Cage’s landmark composition 4’33’’ (1952) also aimed to create awareness, albeit of a very different kind, where the perception of sound in its duration was not determined by the format and expectations of music but by the (timed) awareness of the listener’s acoustic environment. In view of these (now historical) efforts to arrive at a radical perception of sound (and image), and also referring to artists such as Bruce Nauman, Tacita Dean and Anri Sala, this paper will discuss some of the author’s video works and their strategic use of image with/without sound to reflect on Bergsonian duration as experience of multiple time flows within art installations.

Keywords: Perception, Video, Sound

The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts, Volume 10, Issue 3, September, 2015, pp.17-28. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: September 8, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 729.363KB)).

Dr. Andrea Thoma

Lecturer, School of Design, University of Leeds, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK