6. Exit Door: A Few Concluding Remarks


A complex and dynamic relationship exists between the relatively enclosed and private sonic environment of the home and the public outdoor space surrounding the home. In films, this tension is often not adequately attended to and rendered due to the constraints and demands of storytelling, narrative attention, aesthetic consumption, and popular entertainment. With the increasing sophistication of film and media sound production, bringing a spatial turn to the multichannel experience, rendering has become a distinct technical process of editing and reproducing. A filmmaker who is rendering a site in film, generally pays little attention to the intricate details the pro-filmic space has to offer. The auditory setting is reduced to catering for pre-scripted narrative entertainment intended to please its audience through a production of credibility through cinematic devices such as synchronous sound. In the examples discussed in this article, rendering denotes a perceptual reduction of site-specific ambient sound connected to the domestic site depicted on the screen that serves to mediate and condense reality. In media arts, rendering is the creative process of augmenting site-specificity through the artist’s subjective intervention and creativity. 


I have tried to show here that the presence of a domestic site in a filmic space is often constructed according to storytelling strategies and through the selective recording and design of ambient sounds within a normative production chain of technologies and devices, while in media art there exists a tension between abstraction and documentation of the site in the composition of sonic atmospheres through practices of site-specific field recording and mixing. Comparing the two facilitates an understanding of the position of augmented environments produced in film and media, in which the intimate dynamics of an indoor site in relationship to its exterior are mediated through a production process in which much of the extant sonic complexities are reduced. This article is an attempt to generate additional knowledge about the mediation of reality and presence – central themes within contemporary sound and media discourses.