The fecund interval: visualizing acoustic space in Canadian experimental cinema.
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 10:25 by Daniel Browne
"In this paper, I seek to develop an analysis of an aesthetic framework in which my filmmaking practice is situated, through Marshall McLuhan's ideas concerning acoustic space and their resonances within the avant-garde cinema. This may sound at first to be an inherently contradictory formula, given that a visually predominant medium such as the cinema may not be considered to impart experiences beyond this realm, with the exception of its acoustic components. (Sound cinema, similarly, is generally assumed to evoke sense impressions that exist merely in support of the fidelity of its 'realistic' image). However, I seek to demonstrate how the visualization of acoustic space forms a centrally unifying aesthetic strategy within the Canadian avant-garde cinema and many of the perceptual investigations conducted by film artists working during the time of Mcluhan's writings, resulting in a tradition of works which aim to translate visual experience beyond a fragmentary, visually-abstracted field, thus embodying aspects of kinesthetic vision and tactile/acoustic spatial experience. begin by examining the reception of Mcluhan's scholarship from within communication studies, suggesting the most fruitful reading of his often controversial figure as an artist-mystic rather than strictly as a theorist. I will then examine the varied influences from literary and cultural traditions that shaped his unique approach to media analysis and the development of his model of acoustic space-which Richard Cavell proposes as the primary feature that "connects a multiplicity of elements in Mcluhan's large and diverse oeuvre" (2003: xiii)-and consider the relationship of the cinema to Mcluhan's project of a history of the human sensorium."--Introduction.