Metaphors of Accumulation in Pieces for Tape, Vinyl and Digital Sound: Addressing the Sonic Experiences of Alvin Lucier, Christian Marclay and John Oswald

By Rui Torres.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Reproduction processes often question our understanding of meaning and representation in the technological arts. As such, so do recording technologies disrupt boundaries between composer/author, performer/reader, and score/text. In doing so, these methods have sparked a debate devoted to questioning the difference between original and replica, which is still central to the understanding of the relations between culture and technology. Reproduction furthermore leads to accumulation, copies, imitations, and parodies. This paper addresses three musical pieces which were performed using recording technologies, in ways other than those determined by their original configuration. I will be looking at pieces for tape, vinyl records, and digital sound, in which the reference to the reproduction process expands into metaphors of accumulation, consumerism, and the consumption of technology.

Keywords: Reproduction Technologies, Recombinant Arts, Speech Recording, Turntablism, Plunderphonics

The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 1, Issue 6, pp.25-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.758MB).

Prof. Rui Torres

Professor of Communication Sciences, CETIC - Centro de Estudos de Texto Informático e Ciberliteratura, Fernando Pessoa Univeristy, Portugal

Rui Torres, b. 1973 in Porto, Portugal, holds a BA in Communication Sciences, a Masters and a Ph.D in Portuguese and Brazilian Literature, and teaches in the Department of Communication Sciences of Fernando Pessoa University. There he coordinates CETIC, a Center for Cyberliterature Studies, and the Masters Program in Communication Sciences. He is also coordinator and member of several International Research Projects in the areas of Experimental and Digital Poetry, and e-Learning. He is currently doing Post-Doctoral research under the supervision of Prof. Sérgio Bairon, of PUC-SP, Brazil, studying Portuguese and Brazilian experimental and digital poetry, as a Research Fellow of the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (MCTES, Portugal). His articles and poems are available at


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