Love Sounds_Masha Tupitsyn

Author: Masha Tupitsyn
Series: Success and Failure Series
Catalogue No: PA-020

ISBN: 978-0978556440
Format: Broadsheet
Dimensions: 13″ x 19″
Pages: 64pp
Published: May 2015

Availability: Out of print

“To listen, rather than look, at cinema, is to hear the struggle over the script itself, over which words are meant to matter, and which are mere convention.”

—McKenzie Wark


“With Love Sounds, Masha Tupitsyn has gone the full otaku, building an enormous 24-hour database of audio clips covering the whole English-speaking history of the talkies, organizing it by relationship categories. Love Sounds is closer to what Hiroki Azuma would call a database than a narrative understanding of media. It’s a sort of epic forensic device for hearing what the whole mythic structure of the cinema era was, but breaking it down into its affective audible granules, and recomposing those granules by type rather than arranging them in narrative sequence. But it is not just a work about cinema. It also an instance of a post-cinematic form. Another media for another life. In the voice, one can hear at one and the same time the possibility of disarmament, of love; but also all the wars, over who owns who; of who is whose property. To listen, rather than look, at cinema, is to hear the struggle over the script itself, over which words are meant to matter, and which are mere convention. It’s a struggle over whether love is real. It’s one continuous dialogue on whether love, like God, is dead, and who killed it.”

—McKenzie Wark


Cinema remains the last medium for speaking and performing love culturally. While much emphasis has been placed on the visual iconography of love, with the exception of music very little attention has been given to love as an aural phenomenon since the tradition and practice of amour courtois. Partly inspired by Christian Marclay’s ontology of time in cinema, The Clock, and René Magritte’s word paintings, which textualized the visual tropes of painting with “written” images, Love Sounds, a 24-hour sound poem and montage, dematerializes cinema’s visual legacy and reconstitutes it as an all- tonal history of critical listening.

Love Sounds, a 24 hour audio history and essay of love in cinema, concludes Tupitsyn’s immaterial trilogy. The film is accompanied by a catalogue published by Penny-Ante, featuring written works by Masha Tupitsyn and contributors McKenzie Wark, Berit Fischer, Isiah Medina, C. Spencer Yeh, and Yaniya Lee.

In 2011, Tupitsyn commenced her immaterial series with LACONIA: 1,200 Tweets on Film, the first book of film criticism written entirely on Twitter. LACONIA experimented with new modes of writing and criticism, updating traditional literary forms and practices like the aphorism and the fragment. Re-imagining the wound-and-quest story, the love narrative, and the female subject in love in the digital age, Love Dog, published in 2013, was the second installment in Tupitsyn’s trilogy of immaterial writing. Written as a multi-media blog and inspired by Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse and Mourning Diary—a couple in Tupitsyn’s mind—Love Dog is an art book that is part love manifesto, part philosophical notebook, part digital liturgy.


"In ways perhaps not completely anticipated by Michael Chion in his advocacy of 'masking methods' of research into film sound, Masha Tupitsyn’s extreme and beautiful experiment with 'acousmatic listening' in her astonishing video-work Love Sounds sets out constitutively to break the synchrestic audiovisual contract of sound and image. This monumental work succeeds in pointing up not only the expressive worth of audiovisual essays for audio/visual studies, but also their performative and experiential potential. As I have written before of the 'sensuous methodologies' and forms of videographic film and moving image studies, it is precisely because, audiovisual essays, unlike written texts, 'don’t have to remove themselves from film-specific forms of meaning production to have their knowledge effects on us [that] we can feel, as well as know about, the comparisons these videos enact. [...].' It is their affective and phenomenological added value that convinces me not only that digital videographic studies of audio-vision are here to stay, but also that we can’t yet begin to guess at all of the very interesting places to which they might take our discipline. Turning up the volume of such studies, in coming years, sounds like a deeply audio-visionary prospect."

—Catherine Grant, Cine-Files

"Masha Tupitsyn is fascinated by film. The young New York artist has gathered 1500+ love scenes from 80+ years of English- speaking cinema history. However, nothing is seen, only heard—Tupitsyn has an archive of breathy or stammered declarations of love created and divided into eight sections, from desire to undying love. A Hörmarathon 24 hours, and at the same time a remarkable Kopfkino because the missing pictures automatically paint themselves."

—Frankfurter New Press

Past Screenings:

Nov 4 & 5, 2014: Love Sounds premiere at Spectacle Theatre (NYC)

Nov 16, 2014: The Return of Schizo-Culture, MoMA (NYC)

Nov 2014: Experimenta’s 6th International Biennial of Media Art (Melbourne)

Jan 2015: Priska Pasquer Gallery (Cologne)

March 7, 2015: Butcher’s Tears (Amsterdam)

May 20 & 21, 2015: Simon Fraser University (Vancouver)

May 22, 2015: VIVO Media Arts Centre (Vancouver)

May 22 – June 13, 2015: S/N, The Kitchen (NYC)

June 17 & 18, 2015: Videofag (Toronto)

June 20, 2015: Endless Love, Stable (Montreal)

June 26, 2015: ‘Idol / Idyll / Idol: 10 one minute lectures on the passing of time’ by Krzysztof Honowski (Düsseldorf)

June 27, 2015: A + WS Reading Room, In Three Parts (NYC)

June 30, 2015: Dublab Los Angeles airs Part III (Trust-Betrayal) of Love Sounds; Radio Broadcast 12-2PM PST

June 30, 2015: ALLGOLD Render Series, MoMA PS1 (NYC)

Aug 29 & 30, 2015: PAF Summer University (Paris)

Sept 5 – Nov 2, 2015: Priska Pasquer Gallery; RESET I Group Exhibition (Köln)

Feb 13, 2016: Cinefamily (Los Angeles)

March 17, 2016: Babycastles (NYC)

March 19 – 20, 2016: The Long Now 2016 (Berlin)

Jan 24 – July 24, 2016: Kunsthalle Darmstadt Museum (Darmstadt)

Jan 13, 2017: Resonate X Chasm at Knockout Center (NYC)

July 28 – Aug 27, 2017: “You hardboiled I softboiled” at Rhubaba Gallery (Edinburgh) with Rosalind Nashashibi, Valerie Norris, Sam Riviere, Masha Tupitsyn, Claire Walsh, and Jessica Yu. / Edinburgh Art Festival 

Nov 15, 2017: Love Sounds screening at WORM (Rotterdam, Netherlands)


Masha Tupitsyn is a writer, critic, and multi-media artist. She is the author of the books Picture Cycle (Semiotext(e), 2019), Like Someone in Love: An Addendum to Love Dog (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Love Dog (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), a multi-media art book, LACONIA: 1,200 Tweets on Film (ZerO Books, 2011), Beauty Talk & Monsters, a collection of film-based stories (Semiotext(e) Press, 2007), and co-editor of the anthology Life As We Show It: Writing on Film (City Lights, 2009). The final installment in her immaterial trilogy is the sound project, Love Sounds, a 24-hour oral history of love in cinema. Her fiction and criticism have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals.