Call for Presesentations is now closed; schedule announcement coming soon.

The Third Work: Sound/Image/Interaction

A research symposium on the position of sound in contemporary non-fiction and experimental media practice

November 13th and 14th, 2015

IMA MFA, Hunter College of the City University of New York

Taking 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, this research symposium, to be held in New York City on November 13th and 14th 2015 and sponsored by the Integrated Media Arts MFA at Hunter College, will examine the audible as a locus of affect and site of meaning in contemporary non-fiction and experimental media practice.

There has been an increasing amount of writing and thinking in recent years, emanating from a diverse set of disciplines that have come to be called Sound Studies, about sound as psychoacoustic phenomena, as psychogeographic record, 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.

The somatic experience of sound uniquely connects the space of the social to an individual interiority. To hear a film is to be both in one’s own head and to occupy a position in a shared sonic field, and to bring a critical ear to the act of making is to construct a place for that positionality to occur, to consciously engage the acoustic community of film listeners.

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 and experimental media practice. 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:

  • The space for foley and the rhetoric of authenticity in documentary
  • Surround sound: the position of the spectator in the aural field.
  • Approaches to location sound
  • Functions and varieties of V.O.
  • Soundtrack conventions of experimental film.
  • The collaborative process in sound design
  • Sound works in the space of the theater
  • Sync, post-sync and non-sync in the age of the DSLR
  • Silence in the sound film