The Sound Shape of the Visual: Toward a Phenomenology of an Interface

Ming-Qian Ma

in The Sound of Poetry / The Poetry of Sound

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780226657424
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226657448 | DOI:
The Sound Shape of the Visual: Toward a Phenomenology of an Interface

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Sounding the visual presents itself as one of the most intriguing tasks of performance in reading contemporary innovative poetry. In the auditory dynamics of sounding the visual as such, there exists, a silent space occupied by a peculiar visual phenomenon, a phenomenon that has remained acoustically unattended, and to which existing sound systems, whatever the kind, seem oddly inapplicable. The textual phenomenon in question is manifested in the interdisciplinary appropriations and deployments of extralinguistic signs that assume, in particular, two types of visual configurations discussed in this chapter. The sound of the shape of the visual is the shape of space in the visual becoming acoustically temporal; it is the shape of time in sound becoming visually spatial. The sound shape of the visual is, then, a phenomenological interface of becoming in a participatory process of fully experiencing the world.

Keywords: sounding the visual; poetry; auditory dynamics; visual phenomenon; extralinguistic; sound of the shape; shape of space

Chapter.  5947 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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