Serial Techniques in the Arts: General Ambitions and Particular Manifestations

Publisher:
A&S Books
Publication Type:
Chapter
Citation:
Architecture, Disciplinarity and the Arts, 2009, 1, pp. 123 - 134
Issue Date:
2009-01
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Throughout the twentieth century, common techniques for conceiving and composing works of art were applied to different media and to disparate disciplines. Abstraction, narrative and anti-narrative techniques, indeterminacy and chance, and the reductiveness of minimalism, for example, can be found in music, literature, dance, the visual arts, and architecture. The disciplinary models of history and criticism through which works of art are apprehended, however, mean that the shared use of these techniques is rarely tracked across more than two disciplines. Any transference between disciplines is further obscured by these techniques frequently being made manifest under different names and with diverse formal outcomes. Sampled noise in a musical composition, for example, has conceptual parallels in found objects and collage. Stream-of-consciousness writing has a counterpart in improvised dance and music, and another in automatic drawing in art and architecture. Moreover, the uptake of a technique developed initially in one discipline may not occur in another for decades and, consequently, needs to be viewed against contexts that are not only disparate in their media and critical framework but also divergent in the historical and social conditions against which they are understood.
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