TIMECODE John Mowitt: ‘Tercer Sonido’


John Mowitt (University of Leeds)

Tercer Sonido: alliterative sound and

the Tercer Cine movement of the 1960s and 70s


Wednesday 25 February 2015, 6pm

University of Bradford

D1, Richmond Building


Tercer Sonido derives from the forthcoming, SOUNDS: THE AMBIENT HUMANITIES, a text each of whose chapters constitutes a sustained meditation on what I refer to as “faint/feint sounds.” An overarching theme, or drone note, is a view of the humanities as a practice of “problem finding,” and in “Tercer Sonido” the problem that concerns me bears on the troubling status of sound, or perhaps even the soundtrack, in the theory and practice of Tercer Cine. Through a sustained discussion of sound in both LA HORA DE LOS ORNOS (the hour of the furnaces/ovens) and the well-known programatic statement by Solano and Gettino, “Toward a Third Cinema,” I consider how a blatant but un-theorized sound might constitute thirdness itself as a sonic property, but one that puts acute conceptual pressure on the sonic as such.


John Mowitt holds the Leadership Chair in the Critical Humanities at the University of Leeds. His publications range widely over the fields of culture, politics and theory. In 2008 he collaborated with the composer Jarrod Fowler to transfigure his book, Percussion: Drumming, Beating, Striking, from a printed to a sonic text/performance, “Percussion” as Percussion. His Radio: Essays in Bad Reception appeared in 2011 from the University of California Press, and his current book, Sounds: The Ambient Humanities, is also forthcoming from California. In addition, he is a senior co-editor of the journal, Cultural Critique.


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