Douglas Kahn: Sound Leads Elsewhere

Douglas Kahn:
Sound Leads Elsewhere

Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
Kongens Nytorv 1
1050 Copenhagen




Sound Leads Elsewhere

In cooperation with

SNYK – Sekretariat for Ny Kompositionsmusik, Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts & Seismograf.


Sound has definitely arrived in the arts, in sound art and sound studies, but is it a destination? A potent means for accessing and understanding the world, sound works best when it leads away from itself. John Cage opened music up to sound; it is important to keep going and open sound to energies. Sound is but one physical energy among others and, as such, relates to vernacular appeals long made by artists and musicians, to the signals coursing through media for over a century and a half, and to the pervasive energy systems of the earth.

Douglas Kahn is an Australian Research Council Fellow and professor of Media and Innovation at the National Institute of Experimental Arts (NIEA), College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney. He is an historical theorist of media, science and the arts, from the late 19th century to the present, with emphasis on the traditions of the avant-garde and experimentalism. Kahn is the author of Noise Water Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts (MIT Press, 1999) and Earth Sound Earth Signal: Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts (University of California Press, 2013). He is co-editor with Larry Austin of Source: Music of the Avant-garde (University of California Press, 2011) and with Hannah Higgins of Mainframe Experimentalism: Early Computing and the Foundations of the Digital Arts (University of California Press, 2012).

The lecture is followed by a discussion of Douglas Kahn with Holger Schulze.