Synoptique, an online journal of film and film studies (www.synoptique.ca), is seeking short written contributions for an upcoming edition on sound in the cinema and beyond. As guest editor I invite you to tell us what would make the world of audio-visual art a better place. We are particularly interested in comments on audio-visual art outside of the cinema.
The Visual Music exhibition, currently showing in the US, documents a century’s worth of experimentation with the pairing of sound and image. It thus seems like an appropriate time to ask ourselves the following questions: What do we expect from sound/image relationships in the audio-visual arts, and are these expectations being met? Have any of the audio-visual arts, whether cinema, site-specific installation, live performance, etc., truly reached their inherent potential to present sound and image as symbiotic entities? Is symbiosis even the right way to think about the pairing of sound and image in the arts?
If you’re like me then you have your share of frustrations with the lack of audio-visual balance found in most art based on the co-existence of sound and image. So much of the world’s cinema continues to treat sound as a necessary afterthought to the image. Meanwhile, laptop music performers are throwing visuals up on screen with increasing regularity, but only rarely with any real thought about how the seen relates to the heard. And if you’re like me, you probably also have your short list of favorites in the audio-visual arts to which you hold everything else up for comparison. Perhaps a film such as “In Absentia” by the Brothers Quay and Karlheinz Stockhausen stands out as a model for audiovisual symbiosis in the cinema. Beyond the borders of the fixed frame, perhaps the collaborations of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller explore the seams of the audio-visual envelope just waiting for the right time to burst.
Here is your chance to weigh in. Tell us what you love, and what you hate, about trends in audio-visual art both past and present. Share with us what you think the pairing of sound and image needs in order to meet the expectations that so many of us have for audio-visual media. We’re seeking contributions of 250 – 500 words for a forum that will head-off a special section of the edition dedicated to audio-visual art outside of the cinema. We will publish a selection that reflects the diversity of the works received.
Submissions are due by January 15th 2006 and should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org