[csaa-forum] reminder: jonathan sterne seminar today (melbourne)

alison huber huberal at unimelb.edu.au
Thu Aug 7 08:19:51 CST 2008

[Apologies for cross-posting]

Seminar today:
Thursday 7 August 2008, 4.15-6.15pm
Japanese Room, First Floor, Architecture Building, University of Melbourne

Title: Format Theory
Abstract: Today, more recordings exist in mp3 form than in any other form in
the world. What difference does it make? Arguments about sound quality
abound in scholarship and the popular press, but much less has been said
about the format as itself a cultural phenomenon.  This is not entirely
accidental, as scholars are more often in the habit of conceiving of
technology in terms of hardware.  In this paper, I consider the historical
significance of format as a defining feature of recent audio media history,
and argue that the history of the mp3 reveals otherwise hidden dimensions of
20th century audio history.

Dr Jonathan Sterne is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art
History and Communication Studies and the History and Philosophy of Science
Program at McGill University.  He is author of The Audible Past: Cultural
Origins of Sound Reproduction (Duke, 2003), and numerous articles on media,
technologies and the politics of culture. His next book is tentatively
entitled MP3: The Meaning of a Format.  He is also an editor of Bad
Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life (http://badsubjects.org),
one of the longest continuously-running publications on the Internet.  Visit
his website at http://sterneworks.org.

For further details and to RSVP, please contact Alison Huber:
huberal at unimelb.edu.au

This event is supported by the ARC Cultural Research Network
http://www.uq.edu.au/crn/ and the Faculty of Architecture, Building and
Planning at the University of Melbourne http://www.abp.unimelb.edu.au/
<http://www.abp.unimelb.edu.au/> .
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