24 May 2021

Boorstin—Recordings as Pseudo-Events

Daniel Boorstin
The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America (1961)

[My notes say:]

p. 174—the recording as itself a pseudo-event
This is actually quite provocative, and I'm inclined to agree, at least in the metaphysical sense, not necessarily in the material/functional sense. Generally commercial sound recordings are not quite as central to the Dark Forces of image-mongering as scholars of music (for their own self-importance mostly) would like to think.

Having said that, the sonic wallpaper phenomenon (p. 175) IS real, it has since taken some yet more disturbing (and very functional) turns, and certainly in that metaphysical way referenced above it is nothing less than an affront to our humanity.

[from a post-it, 2017]

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