Music, Sound, and the Moving Image

Mediating and Disrupting the Flow

Classical Music Conventions in the Performance and Video Art of Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman

Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2020), 14, (2), 141–158.

Abstract

This essay explores the relationship between ‘highbrow’ classical music traditions and ‘lowbrow’ associations with television culture in the collaborative oeuvre of Charlotte Moorman and Nam June Paik. Contextualizing them within the history of classical music broadcasting conventions on TV on the one hand, and the countercultural avantgarde on the other, I argue that Moorman and Paik’s acts of disrupting and breaking with musical, performative, and/or televisual notions of flow prevent the immersive listening experience that had marked classical music and TV discourses, and in so doing empower the listener in an anti-authoritarian, participatory appeal. This article is the winner of the 2019 Claudia Gorbman Graduate Student Writing Award, selected by the Sound and Music Special Interest Group of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies in conjunction with Music, Sound, and the Moving Image.

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Author details

KREUTZER, EVELYN