<< preface

this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.

it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.

the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today.

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2008-07-17

>> phonesthesia

from: http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/SESLL/EngLang/LILT/phonaes.htm

Phonaesthesia occurs when certain sounds become associated with certain meanings, even though they do not attempt to imitate the sound (as in onomatopoeia). For example, it could be argued that is a phonaesthetic combination of sounds (or phonaestheme) in English in words such slip, slippery, slide, slither, sloppy, slimy, sleazy. The meanings are associated with wetness or greasiness, and gradually take on unpleasant connotations. You could probably add more words to the list (but you could also think of words, such as slant, which do not share this feature).
Notes


1. Writers such as Charles Dickens sometimes exploit phonaesthesia in the names they give their characters, such as Scrooge. Are there other names of characters in literature which predispose the reader to like or dislike the character? It is also exploited in names for products such as breakfast cereals.

2. Extended examples are given in David Crystal, The English Language (1988).



Concept
Phonaesthesia is generally thought to be specific to particular languages. Related languages may exploit the same patterns, but there are also differences.



Figures of speech
See also Onomatopoeia

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... is a Media Art historian and independent researcher. She is currently writing on "speculative archiving && experimental preservation of Media Art" and graduated from Prof. Oliver Grau's Media Art Histories program at the Danube University in Krems, Austria with a Master Thesis on Descriptive Metadata for Media Arts. For many years, she has been working in the field of archiving/documenting Media Art, recently at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Media.Art.Research and before as the head of the Ars Electronica Futurelab's videostudio, where she created their archives and primarily worked with the archival material. She was teaching the Prehystories of New Media Class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and in the Media Art Histories program at the Danube University Krems.