“Smells like books” is a new section here on ANR. And, not surprisingly, it’s about books. Everyone is talking of iPad, Kindle and such nice modern technologies, but you know, they don’t smell (yet?) as the good old books…
This time we’d like to introduce Cracked Media the sound of malfunction (MIT Press), the work of Caleb Kelly, a lecturer at the Sidney College of Art , Australia. Cracked Media is all about the “malfunction” as a way to make art, or as “compositional device”, as Kim Cascone puts it in his very positive comment on the book.
This is taken from the book’s description, and it’s pretty accurate description of what you’ll find in it: “Cracked media encompasses everything from Cage’s silences and indeterminacies, to Paik’s often humorous tape works, to the cold and clean sounds of digital glitch in the work of Tone and Oval… Kelly offers a detailed historical account of these practices, arguing that they can be read as precursors to contemporary new media… Kelly looks at the nature of recording technology and the music industry in relation to the crack and the break, and discusses the various manifestations of noise, concluding that neither theories of recording nor theories of noise offer an adequate framework for understanding cracked media…”
A compelling read (quite deep in some passages), with lots of inputs and notes to find out more about these topics. Definitely recommended for all those into electronic music, sound-design, sound-art, experimental art, or simply curious about the noise around and inside the sounds.
By the way, the hardcover version is on sale right now at Amazon US, UK, and France. Get it before it’s too late.