chapter  7
26 Pages

Aesthetics of video sound

In our consideration of video aesthetics, we can draw valuable lessons from film theory, but – as has been constantly stressed throughout this study – the imbalance caused by over-emphasis on the image in film theorization becomes a positive falsification if we apply its insights without modification to video. As the historical sections of Part One demonstrated, the story of sound and image reproduction offers a pattern of constant interaction in which sound is by no means always the lesser partner. The establishment of the synchronous sound film in the late 1920s, for example, was an instance of the colonization of the film industry by powerful companies grown rich on the profits from radio (that is to say, sound transmission). Video traces its parentage in terms of its modes of address and aesthetics, through television and the sound film, to two ancestors: radio and silent cinema. For this reason, the two-part discussion of video

which follows reverses the conventional order and pays attention first to video sound.