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Earth Sound Earth Signal: Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts

by Douglas Kahn University of California Press
Pub Date:
Pbk 344 pages
AU$62.00 NZ$64.35
Product Status: Out of stock. Not available to order.
Earth Sound Earth Signal is a study of energies in aesthetics and the arts, from the birth of modern communications in the nineteenth century to the global transmissions of the present day. Douglas Kahn begins by evoking the Aeolian sphere music that Henry David Thoreau heard blowing along telegraph lines and the Aelectrosonic sounds of natural radio that Thomas Watson heard through the first telephone; he then traces the histories of science, media, music, and the arts to the 1960s and beyond. Earth Sound Earth Signal rethinks energy at a global scale, from brainwaves to outer space, through detailed discussions of musicians, artists and scientists such as Alvin Lucier, Edmond Dewan, Pauline Oliveros, John Cage, James Turrell, Robert Barry, Joyce Hinterding, and many others.

List of Illustrations

1. Thomas Watson: Natural Radio, Natural Theology
2. Microphonic Imagination
3. The Aeolian and Henry David Thoreau's Sphere Music
4. The Aelectrosonic and Energetic Environments
5. Inductive Radio and Whistling Currents
6. Alvin Lucier: Brainwaves
7. Edmond Dewan and Cybernetic Hi-Fi
8. Alvin Lucier: Whistlers
9. From Brainwaves to Outer Space: John Cage and Karl Jansky
10. For More New Signals
11. Sound of the Underground: Earthquakes, Nuclear Weaponry, and Music
12. Long Sounds and Transperception
13. Pauline Oliveros: Sonosphere
14. Thomas Ashcraft: Electroreceptor
15. Black Sun, Black Rain
16. Star-Studded Cinema
17. Robert Barry: Conceptualism and Energy
18. Collaborating Objects Radiating Environments
19. Joyce Hinterding: Drawing Energy
20. Earth-in-Circuit


"Another unmissable text in sound art research."
Douglas Kahn is Professor of Media and Innovation at the National Institute for Experimental Arts at the University of New South Wales, Australia. He is author or editor of several books, including Noise Water Meat: A History of Sound in