The cultural value of sound
Maybe visual artists and the public at large will be astonished to notice that the current issue of Revista ARTA is tackling a topic such as sound art – and not a strictly visual topic. But in our times of trans-mediality, where all sensorial combinations and techno-artistic hybridizations are possible, getting closer to the sound space in which we are all immersed becomes not only obvious, but necessary. We need to become more conscious of the countless forms of soundscape to which we have access and which model us unconsciously, not only because the present-day visual and curatorial practices have used for decades now the relationship with sound in installations, video art, performances etc, but because sounds have become an essential, even overwhelming dimension of our lives, just as much as the visual dimension. We live not only in a unchained civilization of the visual, but also in a civilization of sounds, noises, sonorities, music that is increasingly mixed, sophisticated and all-pervasive. That is why we need a culture of the sonorous identity of our contemporary existence – with its democracy, facilitations, excesses and dangers – as much as we need a culture of the visual, which has in fact entered earlier in our common habits. Taking the pretext of the Sound Week in Bucharest from March 2016, the thematic file of this issue of Revista ARTA proposes, under the coordination of Anamaria Pravicencu and Octav Avramescu, a fascinating incursion into the territories of sound art, radio art, radio theater, visual-sonorous installations of all kinds, for a forceful initiation in the culture of hearing. This culture is important not only for musicians, sound engineers, film producers, ecologists, psychologists or anthropologists, but also for visual artists and visual specialists – since sound is, paradoxically, a key-element for our visual perception. And sound creation is an important part of the complex multisensory performance in which we live continuously, not only in the white cube of art galleries and museums, but also in our everyday life.
Magda Cârneci, Editor-in-chief