Spring 2024 - CA 315 D100

Sound Art: History and Concepts (4)

Class Number: 7403

Delivery Method: In Person

Overview

  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Tue, 9:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.
    Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.

Description

CALENDAR DESCRIPTION:

This lecture course investigates sound art as an interdisciplinary practice that draws its history and concepts from contemporary visual art, installation art, performance art, experimental music, and their various confluences. We will study historical precedents of experimental sound work as well as think critically and creatively about the themes and concerns that inform contemporary practices. Students with credit for CA 312 Special Topics in Art and Culture Studies under the title "Sound Art" may not take this course for further credit.

COURSE DETAILS:

Since the turn of the twenty-first century a host 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 lecture, 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.

Grading

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

NOTES:

The grading is subject to change.

Materials

REQUIRED READING:

Weekly readings will be made available online.

REQUIRED READING NOTES:

Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: YOUR WORK, YOUR SUCCESS

SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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