Im Schnitt, der Punkt [At Interface, the Point] (2003)
The article below enunciates a novel rhetorical strategy for the description of urban sound installation, drawing on the visual rhetoric of Siegfried Kracauer (“the mass ornament”), Walter Benjamin (the flâneur), and Roland Barthes (“punctum”, “studium” and “grain”). The installation Proximities (Melbourne: 2006), by David Chesworth and Sonia Leber, is used as a case study, while The Edge of the Trees (Museum Of Sydney: 1995), by Fiona Foley and Janet Lawrence, serves as a comparison and precedent for the discussion of colonial politics and heterotopic form. Rather than viewing these works in terms of an immersive, layered, or infinitely expansive depth (LaBelle, Kahn), Proximities is examined from the perspective of Kracauer’s theory of the planar superficial visual ornament. The flat ornamental quality of Proximities allows it to engage with the dialectics of memorialisation, the nature of modernism and travel, and with the sounds of the city, all of which are invoked through the artists’ generation of a technological sonic archive to evoke subaltern, colonial identities within the contemporary metropolitan space of empire and capitalism. This essay thus offers a reappraisal of the issue of sonic memorialisation as it applies to public art works and museums within contemporary Australia and the Commonwealth.
Im Schnitt, der Punkt [At Interface, the Point] (2003).
Sound Scripts, 2(1).
Retrieved from https://ro.ecu.edu.au/soundscripts/vol2/iss1/12