The Noises of Art: Audiovisual Practice in History, Theory and Culture


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A conference was convened by the School of Art, Aberystwyth University in collaboration with The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and Aberystwyth Arts Centre on September 4-6, 2013. The Noises of Art addresses what is arguably the most prolific, varied, and groundbreaking period in the coming together, exchange, and mutual influence of visual art and sound-based practices (such as music and the spoken word). It aims to explore (principally) the visual artist’s engagement with sound, noise, music, and text while at the same time recognizing that there is a traffic of musicians, sound artists, and text artists moving in the opposite direction, who aspire to cultivate visual analogues for their work. Thus, the conference is situated at the intersection of several movements that are converging upon a point of visual-audio synthesis and exchange.

In general, although not exclusively, the forum provided and the opportunity to:

  • draw together visual artists and text-based artists who also use sound as a mode of creative production as well as musicians and sound- or noise-based artists who also use images (static or kinetic) as a mode of creative production;
  • discuss, describe, exemplify, and present individual and collaborative practice;
  • examine the commonalities, distinctives, and relationship of image, sound, and aural text in terms of their essence, methodologies, technologies, theories, aesthetics, historical trajectories, and modes of discourse;
  • explore audio-visual practice from the perspective of cognitive, perceptual, and psychological studies.

The conference was held over three days and included:

  • presentations of academic papers by two keynote speakers, contributing scholars, and practitioners representing the fields of visual art, sound art, music, and sound-directed text, archiving, education, psychology, and medicine;
  • the performance and presentation of works and events representing sound art, video music, spoken and sung text, and their integrations; performances will take place in public spaces and gallery areas at Aberystwyth Arts Centre and the School of Art.

Conference website and FaceBook Noises of Art Conference Programme

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