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Themesicon: navigation pathSound and Imageicon: navigation pathEditorial

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other. Thus it is possible to view historical positions in sharper focus through the lens of the present situation, allowing them to be displayed in a fitting present-day context. The connection between the visual world and the acoustic world is now so close and so varied that it is difficult for us to imagine how widely separated these spheres were at the beginning of the media age. This division lay in both the cultural evaluation of music and fine art and also in the physical and material presentation of images and sounds. Music has been seen as an intellectual art related to mathematics since ancient times, but until the Middle Ages painting and sculpture were judged to be crafts. What we would now call a ‹performative› connection could only be established temporarily, if at all, between the fleeting sounds of music and durable images. It is only since the 19th century that the audio-visual media have made it possible to capture flowing sound-time and that pictures have learned to walk; hence their synthesis seems the most natural thing in the world to the modern mind. This is why the question of the relationship between vision and sound arose in all media art from the outset, from both a


technical and an aesthetic point of view. The history of art and literature coined the term «intermediality» to address this, and it was increasingly used in this context from the early 1990s. It indicates that attention is increasingly being paid to the fact that media are always involved in complex configurations. But here intermedial relations are seen less as explicitly intended connections between the arts and more as fundamental phenomena.

In the early stages, the media forced a technical separation (silent film, gramophone record), and the pioneers of sound-art, light-music and the «absolute film» worked like slaves when trying to overcome this in the early 20th century. In contrast with this, once the digital audio-visual formats came along, any barriers to synthesizing and transforming sounds and images simply fell away. The fact that we are increasingly less prepared to be addressed through one of our senses alone is proved by a product like the current Windows Media Player, which creates images to accompany any audio data from the Internet, automatically and unasked. Hence euphoria about sound-vision synthesis from the early days of the media and Modernism since

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