Sonic FluxSound, Art, and Metaphysics

Sonic FluxSound, Art, and Metaphysics

Christoph Cox

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9780226543031

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


From the invention of the phonograph through contemporary sound art, field recording, and experimental film, artists have become attracted to those domains against which music has always defined itself: noise, silence, and environmental sound. Christoph Cox argues that these developments in the sonic arts are not only aesthetically but also philosophically significant, revealing sound to be a continuous material flow to which human expressions contribute but which precede and exceed those expressions. Cox shows how, over the past several centuries, philosophers and artists have explored this “sonic flux” and, in the process, contributed to a rethinking of ontology, temporality, and the relationships between sound and image. Through the philosophical analysis of works by John Cage, Maryanne Amacher, Max Neuhaus, Éliane Radigue, and others, Sonic Flux contributes to the development of a materialist metaphysics and challenges the prevailing positions in cultural theory, proposing a realist and materialist aesthetics able to account not only for sonic art but for artistic production in general.

Table of Contents

Part I The Sonic Flux and Sonic Materialism

Part II Being and Time in the Sonic Arts

Part III The Optical and the Sonic

End Matter