Related to Visual Culture Experiences Topic) You may choose
Course: Sound and Visual Media (media Studies)
An Analytical Essay
This short paper will critically examine, analyze and assess the sonic elements or acoustic context of
a chosen cultural work. This could be a gallery exhibition of visual art, a popular (or not so popular)
TV show, a night out at the cinema, or a public art installation. Pay particular attention to the spatial
context of where your visual experience is taking place, and consider how the sound of this space is
influencing or inflecting your overall media experience. The idea is to have you pay attention to,
and critically consider, the sonic conditions that are often rendered as secondary to the visual
aspects of cultural experience. What are the dynamics of noise, silence and music at play in the
visual cultural experience youve chosen to examine?
This assignment takes the idea of Cultural workin a rather narrow sense, and as such is not
intended to cover Everydaytypes of cultural experiences such as coffee shops, shopping malls, or
public transit. Since Western culture, and Western cultural activity, is so heavily biased towards
visual media and forms of engagement, the idea behind this assignment is to have you pay attention
to the aural qualities of an experience that are typically forgotten, ignored or go unconsidered.
Some key questions to keep in mind:
What does the gallery/theater/cinema/public space sound like before, during or after a visual art
Describe and analyze the aurality the event/work/etc. is embedded in.
This means that you are not only to consider the sound that is actually part of the work or
event you are exploring (e.g. a movie or TV show soundtrack, the music of the musical
performance, etc.) but to also pay attention to the sounds that surround the event (e.g. the
sound of the audience, the sound of the space itself, etc.).
Why might the space your experience is taking place sound the way it does? is there something
about the specific time your event is happening that lends to its particular aurality?
Are there related cultural or artistic practices that your event/artwork/etc. that might relate to or
somehow inform the nature of its aurality?
Are there historical practices, or shifts in historical practices, which might inform the aurality of
What are the social or cultural norms that help produce the ideas of silence, noise or music that
might be in play? How does the expected or intended experience of your chosen subject implicitly
draw upon these norms? Does it challenge them in any way?
This assignment asks you to do a critical reflection of a media experience. Hence while your own
observations will form the core of your work, you must critically contextualize and support them
with appropriate scholarly work. This is essential if you are to turn your own opinions of what you
heard into a rigorous analysis of your experience.
*** you may choose any experience you want and analyse.
**** the 4 page essay include 3 page double sided essay + 1 page biliography with 3-5 sources