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Themesicon: navigation pathSound and Imageicon: navigation pathAudiovisions
Exposition of Music – Electronic Television (Paik, Nam June), 1963Weekend (Ruttmann, Walter), 1930

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synthesizer existed before specific methods of image synthesis, or in the absence of the appropriate visual technologies were simply ‹misappropriated› to image synthesis, e.g. by Nam June Paik . Due to problems with the much larger volumes of data during image processing, the digital creation and processing of sound in the computer was introduced first.

Transfer of Artistic Techniques: Montage/Collage

Upon closer examination, the relationship between the availability of certain technologies and the artistic application of their principles proves to be complex. This becomes apparent when, for example, one considers that despite the lead of audio technology, sound artists frequently reacted more slowly to the emerging media than did visual artists: With the aid of film, the artistic montage was developed in the visual area. But as music only hesitantly overcomes its fixation on abstract sounds (instead of the concrete noises that become manageable with the introduction of the gramophone), it is not until the end of the 1940s—with Pierre Schaeffer—that it leads to new


musical results. Elementary sound phenomena may have never been denied the potential of naturally-given beauty: Igor Stravinsky, for instance, emphasized the aesthetic value of sounds such as the rustling of leaves or the singing of birds and describes them as being related to music in that they «… caress the ear and give us pleasure ….» However, in his view this does not yet mean that they possess the status of art: «[B]eyond this passive enjoyment we discover music, which allows us to actively participate in the working of a mind that is ordering, invigorating, and creative.» [22]

In the area between literature, theater, and music, i.e. the radio play and its offspring («WeekendWalter Ruttmann's film for radio from 1930), experiments with the montage of noise were successful before those carried out with music. Ruttmann's use of cinematic optical sound recording shows that it was apparently the inaccuracy and awkwardness of montage using the gramophone (by switching between the audio signals coming from two different records) that posed a technical obstacle, whereas film could be relatively accurately and simply assembled using scissors and glue.

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