TABLE OF CONTENTS

music

Electronic Music

THE TRADITIONAL SCENARIO might be described like this: People onstage make music, and, in response, people in the audience make noise.

And if the people onstage make noise?

Sonic Youth’s contribution to the two-CD Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music 1921–2001, the first of eight planned releases on the theme, takes this situation to its logical conclusion: “Audience” is six minutes of applause taped at the end of a 1983 Sonic Youth performance in Berlin, subjected in the studio to the same sorts of manipulations that the band applies to sounds generated by their instruments. The result is punk-rock utopia: The performance provokes the audience to make music of its own. It’s the do-it-yourself ideal, elegantly achieved through the equation noise = music.

But, of course, “Audience” isn’t the same as the sound of an audience. Indeed, the only unifying element in this disparate collection—which

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 2003 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.