Call for Presentations (closed)

An invitation to filmmakers, artists, scholars, graduate students and curators to participate in a research symposium in New York City on the position of sound in contemporary non-fiction media practice

Dates: November 13th and 14th, 2015

Location: Hunter College, City University of New York

“The Third Work: Sound/Image/Interaction” takes its name from Dziga Vertov’s call for a dialectic relationship between sound and image, a film object that is not soundtrack plus image track but a new composition, a third work, formed by the interaction of sound and image.  The symposium, sponsored by the Integrated Media Arts MFA Program at Hunter College, will examine the audible as a locus of affect and site of meaning in contemporary non-fiction media practice.

In recent years, a diverse set of disciplines have come together under the rubric of Sound Studies, producing a body of scholarship about sound as psychoacoustic phenomenon, as psychogeographic marker, as social practice and as sonorous art object. Still, the relationship between sound and image in time-based media practice–the particularized semantic valences produced by their interactions–remains underexplored and undertheorized, and what critical writing there is on the subject centers primarily on questions of diegesis and narrativity in fiction film practice.

From the frame to shot to the cut, from the thought to the form, in theory and in practice, all too often film and digital video continues to be conceptualized, written and spoken about as a primarily visual medium. What is required is a conscious effort and concerted struggle to rethink the primacy of the image, and to open up the space of sound.

This is a call for presentations to explore the conceptual, aesthetic and technical variables and semantic possibilities specific to sound, and sound/image interaction, in non-fiction media practice (broadly conceived to include experimental, ethnographic, essay, observational, and other approaches). Presentations might take the form of lectures, performances, screenings or multi-channel sound pieces.

Possible topics for discussion/presentation include, but are expressly not limited to:

  • Foley and the rhetoric of authenticity
  • Functions and varieties of voice-over
  • Approaches to location sound
  • Aesthetics/semantics of surround sound
  • The collaborative process in sound design
  • The legacy of musique concrete
  • Sound works in the space of the theater
  • Silence in the sound film
  • Social dimensions of sound practice
  • Historical perspectives
  • Analyses of specific makers or bodies of work

Please send an Abstract, between 150 and 300 words in length, including an indication of the form your presentation might take, as well as a brief bio (100 words maximum) by August 1st, 2015 to: Each proposal should include name(s), institutional affiliation(s), if any, and email address(es) of the author(s). All those submitting will be informed by August 15th, 2015.

Symposium Organizer:

Michael Gitlin (, Associate Professor, Integrated Media Arts MFA Program, Hunter College, City University of New York

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