Media Art and Design Research Blog

Research Seminar 5 October 2016: Andy Birtwistle.


Research Seminar 5 October 2016: Andy Birtwistle.

Dr Andy Birtwistle will give the first of the School of Media Art and Design research seminars for 2016-17, on the materiality of recording media.

Canterbury Christ Church University
School of Media Art and Design
Research Seminars 2016-2017

5 October 2016

Noise, Agency and the Art of the Audio Cassette
Speaker: Dr Andy Birtwistle (CCCU)

In a recently published collection on materiality in art, Petra Lange-Berndt asks, “what does it mean to give agency to the material, to follow the material and to act with the material?” Andy Birtwistle’s presentation aims to consider this question, focusing on the creative use of sounds produced by obsolete – or near obsolete – technologies of sound recording and reproduction.

Every sound technology has the capacity to generate as well reproduce sound: that is, the sounds usually referred to as “noise”. In the case of the cassette tape, noise is created by the oxides that coat the tape’s surface and which encode the magnetic patterns constituting the recording itself. Similarly, the distinctive surface noise of vinyl is produced by an encounter between two materials, as the needle scrapes along the walls of the recording groove. We might think of these sounds as the sound of technology itself – a sounding of the medium’s material and technological bases.

Andy Birtwistle’s presentation explores what the political potential of the sound of (obsolete) technology might be, explored through a discussion of material agentiality in his own creative work with audio cassettes.

Andy is Reader in Film and Sound in the School of Media, Art and Design at Canterbury Christ Church University and is the author of Cinesonica: Sounding Film and Video (Manchester University Press, 2010).

Powell Building – Pf06
Canterbury Christ Church University
North Holmes Road Campus

Email Dr Andrew Butler – – for further details

— All welcome —
Feel free to bring your lunch!

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