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Title: Audiobooks as artworks : a framework for analysis & appreciation
Author: Sheinberg, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 2999
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Audiobooks, although largely unexamined, should be perceived as the aural artefacts of a distinct artistic genre. It, in turn, should be identified as part of an interdisciplinary aesthetic category—one which has not been defined hitherto. To classify audiobooks as artworks, I turn to the New Institutional Theory of Art (NITA), which currently provides the most effective explanation available to determining not only what makes something into an artwork, but also whether or not a particular artwork can be deemed beautiful (i.e. aesthetically good). In utilizing NITA, instituting a context—a framework governing the artistic praxis of recording written texts and delivering them to a designated audience—I consequently create a unique aesthetic category. As an artistic institution in its own right, it determines the criteria for identifying aural performances as works of art, and, in effect, establishes audiobooks among all forms of aural performance. In rendering aesthetic evaluation and appreciation crucial aspects to defining art, the implied notion of internal logic—while not explicitly expressed—prevails as a core concept, inherent to a comprehensive understanding of NITA. In articulating its meaning, I suggest its association with the idea of informed intuition, thereby introducing them both as pivotal in illuminating the contribution of my expanded application of NITA. Effectively, in recognizing that to define art necessitates more than mere classification, one is able to employ an institutional analysis on different kinds of artistic case studies. By surveying three major case studies—all manifesting the first-person narrative as a fundamental aesthetic property of audiobooks—the concrete analysis of audiobooks as artworks proves essential to my methodology. Ultimately, by ascertaining their aesthetic quality, I propose to identify the manner in which the craft of casting aural performances necessarily, albeit unconsciously, consolidates aesthetic evaluation, and, effectively, illustrates how it pragmatically works in action.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral