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Noise, Water, Meat


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Douglas Kahn has produced a groundbreaking work, unmatched in its depth and analytic acuity of sound in the visual arts. Not since Jacques Attali's Noise: The Political Economy of Music has a scholar produced such a remarkable polydisciplinary study. Kahn demonstrates a broad knowledge of the place of sound in modernism and not postmodernism, and makes a unique contribution to the history of what he has defined as 'phonography.' Noise, Water, Meat will become a canonical text in art history, cultural studies, and the scholarship on sound. -- Kristine Stiles, Duke University Douglas Kahn's Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Voice, Sound, and Aurality in the Arts clearly establishes his position as the primary historian of sound in twentieth-century avant-garde expression. If the Victorian era was quiet and refined, modernism was energetic and noisy, both visually and aurally. Kahn's study awakens us for the first time to the centrality of that sound in the modernists' definition of themselves against what has gone before. Here solid historical research his joined to subtle, sophisticated analysis, informed by a post-structuralist sensitivity to issues of gender and race. And Kahn's prose is a delight to read -- as rich with meaning and beautifully nuanced as fine literary expression itself. -- Linda Dalrymple Henderson, Department of Art and Art History, The University of Texas at Austin

About the Author

Douglas Kahn is Professor at the National Institute for Experimental Arts at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Noise Water Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts (MIT Press) and Earth Sound Earth Signal: Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts and coeditor of Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio, and the Avant-Garde (MIT Press).


"Kahn's research is impressive, and his presentation is thorough and precise." - Carol J. Binkowski, Library Journal; "...a unique and important contribution to this emerging, exciting field. It is overflowing with ideas, references, and conjecture." - John Levack Drever, The Art Book

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