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Themesicon: navigation pathSound and Imageicon: navigation pathEditorial

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Wagner's «Gesamtkunstwerk» may well sometimes seem a little antiquated today. The success of cultural products that deliberately go for separation again today (audio books, Derek Jarman's film «Blue») are signs of a counter-trend to compulsory audio-visual fusion. But the persistent popularity of videoclips, VJs and any sort of music visual indicates that there is still some audio-visual hunger left unsatisfied.

The kind of sound-image coupling that media technology makes possible is not simply an offshoot of the logic of the apparatuses, but a primal need for synaesthesia that is firmly anchored in human culture. This is expressed by phenomena ranging from the torch dance to the sound of drums in prehistoric caves via organ music to the light of Gothic church windows to the Techno clubs of today. Ecstatic and spiritual experiences often have a part to play here. The range of contributions in the «Sound and Image» module thus goes beyond the narrow thematic field of media art. Its content [2] extends from art and music history via questions of media technology and perception to pop theory, reaching back historically from current media art to well into prehistory. Barbara John's contribution


«The Sounding Image. On the relationship between art and music—an art-historical retrospective» examines the history of the relationship between art and music since ancient times and the Middle Ages via Renaissance paragons to Modernism and early attempts to create a new ‹visual music› or ‹painting with time› at the start of the 20th century. Following on from this, Dieter Daniels's contribution «Sound & Vision in Avantgarde & Mainstream» (also printed in the present book) addresses the threefold interplay between arts and media techniques, between music and pictorial art and between popular and high culture from Wagner's time to the present day. Diedrich Diederichsen's essay «Montage/Sampling/ Morphing. On the Triad of Aesthetics / Technology / Politics» looks at the utopian, social potential of these media techniques. He also shows how they have been normalized and standardized by the culture industry, and the loss of utopian quality associated with this process. The contribution «Audiovisions. Music as an intermedia art form» by Golo Föllmer and Julia Gerlach starts as it were from the ‹nature-given› intermediality of all music that is performed and experienced, and pursues this

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