With Love Sounds, Masha Tupitsyn has gone the full otaku, building an enormous 24-hour database of audio clips covering the whole English-speaking history of the talkies, organizing it by relationship categories. Love Sounds is closer to what Hiroki Azuma would call a database than a narrative understanding of media. It’s a sort of epic forensic device for hearing what the whole mythic structure of the cinema era was, but breaking it down into its affective audible granules, and recomposing those granules by type rather than arranging them in narrative sequence. But it is not just a work about cinema. It also an instance of a post-cinematic form. Another media for another life. In the voice, one can hear at one and the same time the possibility of disarmament, of love; but also all the wars, over who owns who; of who is whose property. To listen, rather than look, at cinema, is to hear the struggle over the script itself, over which words are meant to matter, and which are mere convention. It’s a struggle over whether love is real. It’s one continuous dialogue on whether love, like God, is dead, and who killed it.
(McKenzie Wark, ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart Again’, essay from forthcoming Love Sounds catalogue)
Cinema remains the last medium for speaking and performing love culturally. While much emphasis has been placed on the visual iconography of love, with the exception of music very little attention has been given to love as an aural phenomenon since the tradition and practice of amour courtois. Partly inspired by Christian Marclay’s ontology of time in cinema, The Clock, and René Magritte’s word paintings, which textualized the visual tropes of painting with ‘written’ images, Love Sounds, a 24-hour sound poem and montage, dematerializes cinema’s visual legacy and reconstitutes it as an all-tonal history of critical listening.
In 2011, Masha Tupitsyn commenced her immaterial series with LACONIA: 1,200 Tweets on Film, the first book of film criticism written entirely on Twitter. LACONIA experimented with new modes of writing and criticism, updating traditional literary forms and practices like the aphorism and the fragment. Re-imagining the wound-and-quest story, the love narrative, and the female subject in love in the digital age, Love Dog, published in 2013, was the second installment in Tupitsyn’s trilogy of immaterial writing. Written as a multi-media blog and inspired by Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse and Mourning Diary – a couple in Tupitsyn’s mind – Love Dog is an art book that is part love manifesto, part philosophical notebook, part digital liturgy.
Love Sounds, an audio history of love in cinema, concludes Tupitsyn’s immaterial trilogy, and will be presented as a 24-hour sound installation, accompanied by a catalogue published by Penny-Ante. Tupitsyn’s essay ‘All Ears’, in which she discusses her interest in the tonal typographies of love, is available here.
Masha Tupitsyn is a writer, critic, and multimedia artist. She is the author of the books Like Someone in Love: An Addendum to Love Dog (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Love Dog (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), a multimedia art book, LACONIA: 1,200 Tweets on Film (Zer0 Books, 2011), Beauty Talk & Monsters, a collection of film-based stories (Semiotext(e) Press, 2007), and co-editor of the anthology Life As We Show It: Writing on Film (City Lights, 2009). Her fiction and criticism has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous anthologies and journals. She has written video essays on film and culture for Ryeberg Curated Video and is a senior editor at Berfrois. In 2011, she wrote a radio play, Time for Nothing, for Performa 11, the New Visual Art Performance Biennial. Her blog is: http://mashatupitsyn.tumblr.com.