Cracked Media: The Sound of Malfunction by Caleb Kelly

By Caleb Kelly

From the mid-twentieth century into the twenty-first, artists and musicians manipulated, cracked, and broke audio media applied sciences to provide novel sounds and performances. Artists and musicians, together with John Cage, Nam June Paik, Yasunao Tone, and Oval, pulled aside either playback units (phonographs and compact disc gamers) and the recorded media (vinyl files and compact discs) to create a longer sound palette. In Cracked Media, Caleb Kelly explores how the planned usage of the regularly bad (a crack, a holiday) has develop into the positioning of effective construction. Cracked media, Kelly writes, slides throughout disciplines, via tune, sound, and noise. Cracked media encompasses every thing from Cage's silences and indeterminacies, to Paik's frequently funny tape works, to the chilly and fresh sounds of electronic glitch within the paintings of Tone and Oval. Kelly deals a close ancient account of those practices, arguing that they are often learn as precursors to modern new media.

Kelly seems on the nature of recording know-how and the tune in terms of the crack and the holiday, and discusses some of the manifestations of noise, concluding that neither theories of recording nor theories of noise provide an enough framework for figuring out cracked media. Connecting the ancient avant-garde to modern day turntablism, and predigital damaging ideas to the electronic ticks, pops, and clicks of the glitch, Kelly proposes new media theorizations of cracked media that target materiality and the typical.

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12 Music had become Recording and Noise 53 a commodity, an object to be owned, collected, archived, and stored away. This is a major shift in the history of music, a shift that dramatically changes the form of music as it is molded to fit its new place in capitalist society. The record object is the mediating device between production and consumption. This mediation, however, does not simply flow in one direction. Instead the act of consumption changes the actual production and performance of music, as music is now created for the consumption of the record object.

In “The Form of the Phonograph Record” he dismisses any artistic potential of the phonographic disc as its very structure, its form, hinders artistic potential. It is clear from these words that he did not know of the then-contemporary experiments that used and misused the record and the phonograph to produce new phonograph-specific music. For him the record was “the first means of musical presentation that can be possessed as a thing. . ”12 Music had become Recording and Noise 53 a commodity, an object to be owned, collected, archived, and stored away.

The former is caused by general use and might be manifest in, for example, the found record object. Perhaps the vinyl album was discarded and picked up by the artist, or the record was already in use in the artist’s collection and is now heard as being ripe for the creation of new cracked sounds. The latter approach is that of deliberate damage, where, for example, a sharp object is used to deliberately damage the surface of the record, or perhaps Introduction 35 the record is deliberately scuffed by placing it on the floor of a gallery.

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