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date: 26 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter maps the territory of the contemporary audiovisual cinematic avant-garde, which arose at the very moment of celluloid’s passage from mass use to obsolescence. It presents films that bear witness to the avant-garde’s ongoing interest in the formal organization of sound/image relationships. If one of the main concerns of sound in conventional film is to “naturalize” the image, experimental film is interested instead in an anti-naturalistic use of sound. Films without sound or even without images (which still can be called “films”), the use of audiovisual polysemy, asynchronous, or even synchronous sound, as well as the visualization of code-based music, are all means of revealing the constructed nature of the cinesonic event. The chapter examines the realm of the sound of technology itself, pointing out the creative potential of optically synthesized sounds as well as live generated sounds and images, which attest to the agility of current projection performances.

Keywords: avant-garde film, experimental film, obsolescence, cinesonic, film sound, sound/image, sound of technology, optical sound, projection performance, synthesized sounds

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