Fall 2019 - CA 312 E100

Selected Topics in Art and Culture Studies (3)

Sound Art

Class Number: 9802

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 5:30 PM – 8:20 PM
    HCC 1415, Vancouver

  • Instructor:

    Eldritch Priest
    Office: GC3865
    Office Hours: Wednesday 10-12
  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Investigates a selected thematic topic in art and culture studies, for example, postcolonial theory and the arts; perception and embodiment; art activism and resistance; or urban art and culture. May repeat for credit.


Since the turn of the century a swarm of historical and critical works have established “sound art” as its own aesthetic genre and practice. However, much of the discourse regarding sound art concerns its interdisciplinary origins and ambiguous nature, which for that very reason makes the practice and our understanding of it exceptionally uneven and unstable. But this is not a
bad thing. In fact, sound art’s inveterate obscurity is perhaps what makes it so appealing to contemporary artists who have (ostensibly) learned the (ironic) lessons of postmodernism and
its discontents. For this seminar, then, we’ll treat sound art as something essentially inconsistent and protean and attempt to understand its development as expressive of a broader experimental ethos that by its nature resists disciplinary capture and technical mastery. Furthermore because of sound art's unruliness we will also regard it as a highly political activity that articulates with contemporary issues concerning the relationship between humans, technology, and global capitalism. To pursue this we will read about, listen to, watch, and discuss the ways in which sound communicates, defines spaces, shapes memories and affects the kinds of connections we forge with people, places and objects.

Specific genres, figures, and topics discussed will include: H.P. Lovecraft, sound
poetry, musique concrete, glitch music, installation art, Christina Kubisch, modes of listening, imaginary sounds, Christian Marclay, distracted composition, etc....


  • Class participation 15%
  • Short writing assignment 10%
  • Artist Talk 5%
  • Creative reflection 20%
  • Sonic fiction 15%
  • Final paper 35%


This is a lecture course; however, a significant portion of its content will be generated by participation and dialogue between students and the professor. To be successful in this course requires that students complete ALL of the readings and that they take the risk of speaking, even when not entirely comfortable doing so.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html