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Nicolas Ballet - Shock Factory. Culture visuelle des musiques industrielles (1969-1995)

456 pages
Text(s) by Nicolas Ballet
24 x 17 cm 
Language: French
Publisher: Les Presses du Réel


A vast study of the visual culture of industrial music during its development in Europe, the United States and Japan, from the 1970s to the 1990s, a global culture that goes beyond sound experimentation to cross different media (graphics, film, performance, video), in a close dialogue with the heritage of modernity and under the growing influence of technologies.

Industrial music appeared in the mid-1970s, and far from being a simple sound experimentation phenomenon, it quickly produced a global visual culture operating at the intersection of a multitude of media (collage, mail art, installation, film, performance, sound, video) in a close dialogue with the legacy of modernity and the growing influence of technology. Originally British, its development grew in Europe, the United States and Japan during the 1980s. The sound experiments deployed by industrial bands—designing synthesizers, manipulating and transforming recorded sounds from audio tapes recycled or conceived by the artists—were supplemented by a rich array of radical visual productions, deriving their sources from the modernist utopias of the first part of the 20th century.

The saturated sounds were translated into abrasive images, altered by a détournementof reprographic techniques (Xerox art) that invested polemical themes: mental control, criminality, occultism, pornography, psychiatry and totalitarianism, among others. This book aims to introduce the visual and aesthetic elements of industrial culture to a general history of contemporary art by analyzing the different approaches taken and topics addressed by the primary protagonists of the movement, who anticipated current issues concerning the media and their coercive power.