Emeritus Professor Douglas   Kahn
Emeritus Professor

Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn

• Ph.D., Art History and Theory, Western Sydney University (1998). Dissertation: Techniques and Tropes of Sound, Voice and Aurality in Artistic Modernism. Supervised by Dr. Helen Grace. 

• M.A., Music Composition, World Music Program, Wesleyan University (1987). Studied with Alvin Lucier. 

• M.F.A., Post-studio Art, Cal Arts (1976),  Studied with Vito Acconci, David Antin, John Baldessari, Yvonne Rainer and James Tenney.

• Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts, The Evergreen State College (1973)  

Arts,Design & Architecture
School of Art & Design

Douglas Kahn is an historian and theorist of energies in the arts, sound in the arts and sound studies, and media arts, from the late-19th Century to the present.

His books include Energies in the Arts (MIT Press, 2019); Earth Sound Earth Signal: Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts (University of California Press, 2013); Noise Water  Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts (MIT Press, 1999); Mainframe Experimentalism: Early Computing and the Foundations of Digital Arts, edited with Hannah Higgins (University of California Press, 2012); and Source: Music of the Avant-garde, edited with Larry Austin (University of California Press, 2011).

He received an ARC Future Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Arts Writers Grant from Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation. 

He is also Professor Emeritus at University of California at Davis, with previous positions as Professor and Founding Director of Technocultural Studies, UC Davis; Associate Professor of Media Arts and Production, University of Technology, Sydney, and Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts and Performance, Arizona State University West. 

 

Publications

  • Edited Books | 2019
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, (ed.), 2019, Energies in the Arts, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA
    Book Chapters | 2019
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2019, 'Sound Art, Art, Music', in Engstrom A; Stjerna A (ed.), Ljudkonst
    Book Chapters | 2019
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2019, 'Las Artes del Sonido y la Musica', in Espejo JL (ed.), Escucha, por favor: 13 textos sobre sonido para el arte reciente, Producciones de Arte y Pensamiento/PROAP, Madrid, pp. 19 - 28
    Book Chapters | 2019
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2019, 'Thomas Ashcraft, Electroreceptor', in Rue G (ed.), Strange Attractor, Inventory Press/Ballroom Marfa, New York/Marfa, TX, http://gryphonrue.com/strange-attractor/
    Book Chapters | 2019
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Biddle J, 2019, 'Milpirri: Activating the At-Risk', in Kahn D (ed.), Energies in the Arts, MIT Press, Cambridge, pp. 351 - 371
    Book Chapters | 2019
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2019, 'Energy Field Performance: Peter Blamey', in Energies in the Arts, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 397 - 421, https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/energies-arts
    Book Chapters | 2019
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2019, 'Introduction', in Kahn D (ed.), Energies in the Arts, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 1 - 46, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1479-828X.1994.tb01062.x
    Book Chapters | 2018
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2018, 'Laboratorium', in Kristof Kintera – Postnaturalia: Scriptum Herbarium, Scriptum Cuprum Factum, Silvana Editoriale, Milano, pp. 15 - 64, http://kristofkintera.com/pages-text/book-postnaturalia.htm
    Book Chapters | 2016
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2016, 'David Haines & Joyce Hinterding, la foudre expliqueée', in Résonances magnétiques, La Panacée, Centre D'Art Contemporain, Montpellier, pp. 22 - 50
    Book Chapters | 2016
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2016, 'Word Carving: A Dream of Transmission', in Cormack E (ed.), Primavera 2016: Young Australian Artists, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, pp. 90 - 95
    Book Chapters | 2016
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2016, 'Lightning', in Jones C; Mather D; Uchill R (ed.), Experience: Culture, Cognition, and the Common Sense, MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/experience
    Book Chapters | 2016
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2016, 'Geology without Geologists', in Brits B; Gibson P; Ireland A (ed.), Aesthetics After Finitude : An Anthology of Essays, re.Press, pp. 89 - 96
    Book Chapters | 2016
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn DD, 2016, 'Sound Leads Elsewhere', in Cobussen M; Meelberg V; Truax B (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art, pp. 41 - 50, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315770567
    Book Chapters | 2015
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn DD, 2015, 'The Aoelian and Henry Thoreau's Sphere Music', in Bull M; Back L (ed.), The Auditory Culture Reader, edn. Sensory Formations, Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 367 - 378
    Book Chapters | 2015
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2015, 'Haines and Hinterding as Understood Through Lightning', in Davis A (ed.), Energies: Haines & Hinterding, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, pp. 22 - 37
    Book Chapters | 2015
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2015, 'The Act of Hearing: A View on the Activity of Jacob Kirkegaard', in Kirkegaard J (ed.), Jacob Kirkegaard: Earside Out, Museet for Samtids Kunst, Narayana Press, Roskilde, Denmark, pp. 86 - 89
    Book Chapters | 2015
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn DD, 2015, 'Reverse Icarus', in Altena A; Belina M; van der Velden L (ed.), The Geological Imagination, pp. 41 - 52
    Book Chapters | 2014
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn DD, 2014, 'Surround Sound', in On&By Christian Marclay, MIT Press, Cambridge, pp. 114 - 124
    Book Chapters | 2014
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn DD, 2014, 'Eary Years', in On&By Christian Marclay, MIT Press, Cambridge, pp. 16 - 22
    Book Chapters | 2014
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn DD, 2014, 'Revelation of Hidden Noises: Improbable Musical Instruments and Sound Devices in Early Twentieth Century Literature', in Celant G (ed.), Art or Sound, Progetto Prada Arte, Milan, http://www.fondazioneprada.org/bookshop/eng/books/index/idop:36
    Book Chapters | 2013
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2013, 'Let Me Hear My Body Talk, My Body Talk', in Cubitt S; Thomas P (ed.), Relive: Media Art Histories, MIT Press, pp. 235 - 256, http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/relive
    Books | 2013
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2013, Earth Sound Earth Signal, Univ of California Press, Berkeley, http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520257559
    Book Chapters | 2012
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D; Higgins H, 2012, 'Introduction', in Higgins HB; Kahn D (ed.), Mainframe Experimentalism, edn. 7-8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11191-011-9357-0
    Edited Books | 2012
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D; Higgins H, (ed.), 2012, Mainframe Experimentalism: Early Computing and the Foundations of the Digital Arts, University of California Press, Berkeley, http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520268388
    Book Chapters | 2012
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2012, 'James Tenney at Bell Labs', in Kahn D (ed.), Mainframe Experimentalism: Early Computing and the Foundations of the Digital Arts, University of California Press, http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520268388
    Books | 2012
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Higgins HB; Kahn D, 2012, Mainframe Experimentalism, University of California Press, http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520268388
    Book Chapters | 2012
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2012, 'John Cage: Silence and Silencing', in Daniels D; Arns I (ed.), Sounds Like Silence. John Cage - 4'33" Silence Today, edn. Original, Spector Books, Leipzig
    Book Chapters | 2012
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2012, 'Noises of the Avant-garde', in Sterne J (ed.), The Sound Studies Reader, edn. 1st, Routledge, New York, pp. 427 - 448
    Edited Books | 2011
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D; Austin L, (ed.), 2011, Source: Music of the Avant-garde, University of California Press, Berkeley, http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520267459
    Book Chapters | 2011
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2011, 'Source in the Cause of New Music: Larry Austin on Source', in Source: Music of the Avant-garde, 1966-1973, edn. Original, University of California Press, Berkeley, pp. ix - 8
    Books | 2011
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2011, The Aelectrosonic, Kontraste Cahier No. 1, Sonic Acts Press, Amsterdam
    Book Chapters | 2011
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2011, 'Where Does Sad News Come From?', in McLeod K; Kuenzli R (ed.), Cutting Across Media: Appropriation Art, Interventionist Collage, and Copyright Law, edn. Original, Duke University Press, Durham and London, pp. 94 - 116, http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?productid=18530
    Book Chapters | 2010
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2010, 'Alvin Lucier, Edmond Dewan and Music for Solo Performer', in Gethmann D (ed.), Klangsmaschinen zwischen Experiment und Medientechnik [Sound Machines Between Experiments and Media Technology], edn. Original, Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld, pp. 211 - 230
    Book Chapters | 2008
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2008, 'Three Receivers', in Crisell A (ed.), Radio (Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies: Volume 1 Part 8), Routledge, London; New York, pp. 73 - 80
    Book Chapters | 2007
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2007, 'Between a Bach and a Bard Place: Productive Constraint in Early Computer Arts', in Grau O (ed.), MediaArtsHistory, MIT Press, Cambridge, pp. 423 - 452
    Books | 2001
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2001, Noise, Water, Meat A History of Sound in the Arts, MIT Press (MA)
    Books | 1994
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D; Whitehead G, 1994, Wireless Imagination Sound, Radio, and the Avant-garde, Mit Press
    Edited Books | 1992
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D; Whitehead G, (ed.), 1992, Wireless imagination: Sound, Radio, and the Avant-Garde, MIT Press, Cambridge, https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/wireless-imagination
  • Journal articles | 2020
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2020, 'On vibrations: cosmographs', SOUND STUDIES, vol. 6, pp. 14 - 28, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20551940.2020.1713509
    Journal articles | 2019
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2019, 'Three Receivers', continent., vol. 8, http://continentcontinent.cc/index.php/continent/article/view/323
    Journal articles | 2014
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn DD; Macauley W, 2014, 'On the Aelectrosonic and Transperception', Journal of Sonic Studies, vol. 8, http://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/108900/108901
    Journal articles | 2014
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn DD, 2014, 'Sound Art, Art, Music', Tacet, vol. 3
    Journal articles | 2014
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn DD, 2014, 'Media and the Sun in Theory', Acoustic Space Journal, vol. 12, http://rixc.org/en/acousticspace/all/
    Journal articles | 2012
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Thomas P; Kahn D; Harley RB; Bennett J, 2012, 'Experimental Arts: Studies in Material Thinking [edited journal]', Studies in Material Thinking, vol. 8, http://www.materialthinking.org/smt-research-communication-platform
    Journal articles | 2012
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2012, 'The Military-Art Nexus: Tow cases in the United States', Studies in Material Thinking, vol. 8, pp. 1 - 10, http://www.materialthinking.org/papers/90
    Journal articles | 2011
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2011, 'Prelude to Live Cinema', Journal of Visual Culture, vol. 10, pp. 255 - 265, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1470412911402913
    Journal articles | 2009
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2009, 'Alvin Lucier: I am sitting in a room, immersed and propagated', OASE Architectural Journal, Special Issue: Immersed Sound and Architecture, vol. 78, pp. 24 - 37
    Journal articles | 2008
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2008, 'Alvin Lucier and Electromagnetic Natural Sounds', Spectropia: On Spectral Ecology and Art, vol. 7, pp. 190 - 199
    Journal articles | 2005
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Smith B; Gewanter D; Hill R; Kahn D; McMorris M; Noland C; Hirsch M; Lynn Nielsen A; McCormick A; Finch A; Durgin P; Michelson P; Asquith N, 2005, 'Poetry and Theory: A Roundtable', PMLA - Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, vol. 120, pp. 97 - 107
  • Creative Written Works | 2020
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn D, 2020, What is an Ecopath?, Sydney Review of Books, https://sydneyreviewofbooks.com/essay/what-is-an-ecopath/
    Creative Written Works | 2014
    Emeritus Professor Douglas Kahn
    Kahn DD, 2014, Don't Think About It, Das Superpaper, dasSuperpaper

Awards

• Michelle Kendrick Memorial Book Prize, Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, runner-up for Earth Sound Earth Signal: Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts (2014).

• Arts Writers Grant, Creative Capital and Warhol Foundation, for Earth Sound Earth Signal (2009).

• Guggenheim Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, The historical discovery of natural radio (2006—2007).

• John McCarron New Writing in Arts Criticism Award, 1989.

• Grand Prize Winner, MacIntosh Masters Computer Art Competition, 1989.

Grants

• Australian Research Council Future Fellowship, "The Natural History of Media: Aesthetics, nature and communications technology,"  (2012-2016): $816,391.

Media