Screening of works by Harun Farocki and discussion with Suzanne G. Cusick and William Cheng

Musicologists Suzanne G. Cusick and William Cheng have been at the forefront of research on the role of acoustical weaponry and sound-based torture by law enforcement and military organizations. Each scholar has approached the relationship between music and violence while imagining reparative strategies for listening, and living, differently. They share this work in the context of Harun Farocki’s installation project Serious Games (2009-2010), which explores the origins and architectures of video game technologies as they are deployed by the military. This conversation will be co-moderated by María Edurne Zuazu.

The evening begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 4, in the James M. Stewart ’32 Theater at 185 Nassau Street. A Q&A session with the artists follows the screening. Free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations necessary.


Harun Farocki, Serious Games I: Watson is Down (2010, single channel version) [8 min.] Harun Farocki, Serious Games II: Three Dead (2010, single channel version) [8 min.] Harun Farocki, Serious Games III: Immersion (2009, single channel version) [20 min.] Harun Farocki, Serious Games IV: A Sun Without Shadow (2010, single channel version) [8 min.]

Sonic Cinema: Sounding Resistance is a public film screening series curated by Visiting Associate Professor Amy Herzog in conjunction with her spring visual arts/music course “Sonic Cinema: Music, Noise, and the Moving Image.” The course explores the use of sound in relation to moving images, including film scoring, musicals, soundtracks, music videos, and experimental sound and video art.

The film screening series is supported through the John Sacret Young ’69 Lecture Series fund. Sacret Young is a 1969 graduate of Princeton and an author, producer, director, and screenwriter. He has been nominated for seven Emmy Awards and seven Writers Guild of America (WGA) Awards, winning two WGA Awards. He is perhaps best known for co-creating, along with William F. Broyles Jr., China Beach, the critically acclaimed ABC-TV drama series about medics and nurses during the Vietnam War, and for his work on the television drama The West Wing. Young has also received a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award, and his original mini-series about the Gulf War, Thanks of a Grateful Nation, was honored with his fifth Humanitas Prize nomination.



SUZANNE G. CUSICK is an influential figure in modern musicology. Her early work proved foundational to the fields of feminist and queer musicology, and her full body of scholarship remains among the most sophisticated, engaging, and provocative work in music studies. Her recent writings on the use of music in the so-called “War on Terror” have helped to launch a new generation of scholarship on music and violence and have re-configured the ways in which politics and music are understood as mutually constitutive. Whether focused on new styles of music making in early modern Italian courts, or on the soundscape of CIA blacksites, Cusick’s work is concerned with questions of how music functions as a material practice, with palpable consequences for both listeners and performers. Her work repeatedly pushes beyond the resting places of traditional scholarship, redefining the ways in which we can think about music, about gender, and about music scholarship. In 2007, Cusick’s research on the use of noise, music and “gender coercion” in the detention and interrogation of prisoners held during the twenty-first-century’s “war on terror” was awarded the Philip Brett Award given by the LGBTQ Study Group of the American Musicological Society.

WILLIAM CHENG is Assistant Professor of Music at Dartmouth College. He obtained his B.A. in Music and English from Stanford University (2007), and his A.M. and Ph.D. in Music from Harvard University (2013), where he was a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows (2012–16). He is the author of Sound Play: Video Games and the Musical Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Just Vibrations: The Purpose of Sounding Good (University of Michigan Press 2016), which received the 2016 AMS Philip Brett Award and was named a 2016 Book of the Year by Times Higher Education. His current book projects include All the Beautiful Musicians (Oxford), Touching Pitch: Dirt, Debt, Color (Michigan), and the edited volume Queering the Field: Sounding Out Ethnomusicology (Oxford, with coeditor Gregory Barz). His publications have appeared in academic venues such as the Journal of the American Musicological Society, Journal of the Society for American Music, Ethnomusicology, Ethnomusicology Review, Cambridge Opera Journal, 19th-Century Music, and Critical Inquiry, and in newspapers and blogs such as Slate, Washington Post, Huffington Post, TIME, Pacific Standard, and Musicology Now.

HARUN FAROCKI (1944-2014): January 9, 1944 born in Nový Jicin (Neutitschein), born in Nový Jicin (Neutitschein), at that time Sudetengau, today Czech Republic. 1966 – 1968 Admission to the just opened Berlin Film Adacemy, DFFB. 1966 Marriage with Ursula Lefkes. 1968 Birth of the daughters Annabel Lee and Larissa Lu. 1974 – 1984 Author and editor of the magazine Filmkritik, Munich. 1998 – 1999 Speaking about Godard / Von Godard sprechen, New York / Berlin. (Together with Kaja Silverman). 1993 – 1999 Visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley. 2001 Marriage with Antje Ehmann. Since 1966 more than 100 productions for Television or Cinema: Children’s TV, Documentary Films, Essay Films, Story Films. Since 1996 various solo- and group exhibitions in Museums and Galleries. 2007 with Deep Play participation at documenta 12. Since 2004 Visiting Professor, 2006 – 2011 full Professorship at the Academy of Art, Vienna. 2011 – 2014 longterm project Labour in a Single Shot, together with Antje Ehmann. July 30, 2014 died near Berlin.

MARIA EDURNE ZUAZU is a PhD candidate in musicology at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is a Fulbright and Fundación La Caixa fellow. Her work has appeared in Women and Music, Latin American Music Review, and Transcultural Music Review, as well as in edited volumes published by Oxford University Press and Routledge. Her current research includes work on musical reenactment, violence, and the development of sonic weaponry such as Long Range Acoustic Devices.

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