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Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio, and the Avant-Garde
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Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio, and the Avant-Garde [Paperback]

Douglas Kahn , Gregory Whitehead

Price: $39.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

July 25, 1994

Wireless Imagination addresses perhaps the most conspicuous silence in contemporary theory and art criticism, the silence that surrounds the polyphonous histories of audio art. Composed of both original essays and several newly translated documents, this book provides a close audition to some of the most telling and soundful moments in the "deaf century," conceived and performed by such artists as Raymond Roussel, Antonin Artaud, Marcel Duchamp, André Breton, John Cage, Hugo Ball, Kurt Weill, and William Burroughs.From the late nineteenth century to the 1960s, the essays uncover the fantastic acoustic scenarios projected through the writings of Raymond Roussel; the aural objects of Marcel Duchamp; Dziga Vertov's proposal for a phonographic "laboratory of hearing"; the ZAUM language and Radio Sorcery conjured by Velimir Khlebnikov; the iconoclastic castaways of F. T. Marinetti's La Radia; the destroyed musics of the Surrealists; the noise bands of Russolo, Foregger, Varèse, and Cage; the contorted radio talk show delivered by Antonin Artaud; the labyrinthine inner journeys invoked by German Hörspiel; and the razor contamination and cut-up ventriloquism of William S. Burroughs.Douglas Kahn is Associate Professor of Media Arts at Arizona State University. Gregory Whitehead is an audio artist who produces radio transmissions and events.

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Editorial Reviews


"Think of this book as a radio station with some really good shows. Think of yourself as a radio." Joshua Clover, San Francisco Review of Books

"Wireless Imagination is a beautifully produced collection of essays on the interplay between art, noise, experimental music, and technology.... An enlightening exploration of a little-known area of art history." Gareth Branwyn, Wired

About the Author

Douglas KAHN is founding Director of Technocultural Studies at University of California at Davis. He is the author of Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts (MIT Press, 1999).

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More About the Author

Douglas Kahn is Research Professor at the National Institute of Experimental Arts, University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and Professor Emeritus of Science and Technology Studies, University of California at Davis. He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, and a Creative Capital|Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.

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