Suggested reading


That was fantastic.
Be warned: spoilers!


Currently reading Adorno’s essay collection The Culture Industry (Routledge) as semi-research, semi-attempt to understand better the relationship between capitalist movements and the creation of music itself (in the way you or I might do it). I’ve been overwhelmed, overstimulated and deeply underimpressed by musical experiences lately - there are lots of reasons for it, but I thought ol’ Theodore might be able to shed some light on the ones having to do with the market itself.

It’s a little bewildering to read these writings from the 1960s and 1970s without entirely analysing them in terms of the culture industry today. It’s also really fascinating/amusing to try to figure out the points of overlap between his theoretical anlyses and his personal taste in art and music, which range from acquired and stuffy to downright embittered. I’ve nothing else to say about any of it at the moment, but it’s a wonderful read so far.


Enjoyable and thoughtful interview. I figured others would enjoy it too :slight_smile:


i’m fascinated by this paper


this probably deserves it’s own thread


Reminded me that I actually took the time to create a little file with the artwork and metadata of your o,w tape, to put it on my (long time dead but then suddenly brought back to life thanks to the great thread "MP3" players in 2018 and Rockbox) iPod, and it felt so refreshing, like creating a small, real connection with it, and it was just MP3! (Wish I had the actual tape! :slight_smile: )

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Very cool article on Navajo women and circuit design by Lisa Nakamura, a professor at UMich who does research on digital media and race, gender, and sexuality.

Indigenous Circuits: Navajo Women and the Racialization of Early Electronic Manufacture


I studied under Lisa in undergrad. She’s a brilliant scholar. Very happy to see this shared!


I’ve sold/thrown out a lot of books over the years, usually in order to move house / stay nimble, but there’s one I’ve never been able to turf: Sound by Artists (even though it is starting to look pretty weathered).

It’s an anthology text that gathers a lot of essays together on writings to do with sound, it even has a nice Braille cover and an insert acetate phono print by Christian Marclay.

Published in 1990, it’s actually somewhat revealing to read in the preface the editors observation that there is no “sound art movement as such”. Think we could say quite the opposite is the case today :slight_smile:

The book did originally accompany an exhibition on sound and another gallery recently republished it in 2013 (now out of print also), so you’d have to track down a 2nd hand copy from somewhere. But the book has a really nice collection of ideas, I remember always being quite taken by a paragraph from a piece by Bill Viola called The Sound of One Line Scanning. I always like the kinds of writings where sound and image somehow seem to fold into the same substance or matter in some way:



Maybe not the most revelatory, but an interesting point of context/reference for all of us working with sound.

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Picked up Sonic Experience: A Guide to Everyday Sounds based off your recommendation (way) upthread. Thanks for listing it here, thoroughly enjoying it!


It’s definitely the kind of book that expands the thinking about/understanding of sound.
Glad you enjoy it.


ELECTRONIC COTTAGE is an international community where independent artists, musicians, writers and freethinkers can meet and share ideas, sounds, visual art, photos, zines, videos, reviews, news and info, opinions, tech and gear articles, and much more, all in the spirit of two-way communication.

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Just picked up a used copy of these from one of my favorite used bookstores, and contemplated a few other sound art books I didn’t expect to find. The 5th Edition looks even better, with a lot of new content I wish this edition had.


Hey all - I’m looking for some new and hopefully thought provoking reading material, and I was hoping we could create a thread collecting any strange, esoteric, or in any way interesting papers that touch on music/electronics/process/sound/etc. Any thesis or manifesto is welcome!

I’m fond of Mark Fell’s Works in Sound and Pattern Synthesis:


I like to read these James Tenney papers every so often:

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Here’s a link to @trickyflemming’s dissertation, Modular Understanding: A Taxonomy and Toolkit for
Designing Modularity in Audio Software and Hardware

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For some reason the first thing i thought of

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Hey, thanks for sharing! Here’s the list of papers from my department:

One of my publicly available favorites is by Lance Putnam:

It’s the study of a single equation for generating complex images and audio. He gave a fantastic defense presentation using a piece of bespoke research software. Side note: if anyone is in the Santa Barbara area, the MAT End of Year Show is on June 1st. I’ll start an event thread when more info is available. It’s the only time that the Allosphere (a 54.1-channel surround system with full-sphere image projection) is open to the public.


I’ve been enjoying the book Art & Fear: On the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland recently.

I read this a couple of times a year and every time it reveals something to me about myself and my work.