This class is a continuation of English 165 that began in the fall of 2007 and is open only to those students who have been enrolled in it since the fall.
Over the past few years, sound art has been present in exhibitions all over the world. And it's not only in galleries that this phenomena is taking place: vast repositories of sound art are sprouting all over the web, offering hundreds of hours worth of MP3s; even rock stars like Sonic Youth are releasing discs of themselves performing works of sound art, introducing this tradition to new generations. But a closer look shows us that this isn't a new trend at all. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, artists have involved themselves in sound. Be it recordings of their work, performances, or installations, the art world has always been a noisy place. The desire to reintegrate the arts, in which sound in its manifold forms has played a significant part, has taken artists in the 20th century far beyond the traditional purview of painting and sculpture to their own bodies and voices, to time and space, and to the environment.
This year-long class, given as a collaboration of CPCW and the ICA, will explore facets of sound art through the medium of creative writing. Students will be encouraged to develop correspondent methods of responding to the ICA's exhibitions, specifically a large retrospective of sound art organized by artist Christian Marclay. The class will involve monthly trips to New York City to attend concerts, museums and lectures. The students will have access to the most cutting-edge artists today via class visits and studio visits. English 165 will culminate in a publication co-sponsored by the ICA and CPCW.