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Abstract

In her paper, "Aesthetics and Audiovisual Metaphors in Media Perception," Kathrin Fahlenbrach presents a model of audiovisual analysis where focus is on audiovisual aesthetics perceived physically and affectively. Fahlenbrach starts out from the assumption that image and sound are inseparable in audiovisual media and must be treated as a unit, a "synchresis" (Chion). Fahlenbrach proposes that only this premise is able to cover the pre-consciously perceived elements sufficiently, namely the sensorial and affective structures of audiovisual aesthetics. Fahlenbrach articulates some aspects for an audiovisual aesthetics that concentrate on the interfaces between audiovisual perception and audiovisual design and employs to this end the Aristotelian concept of aisthesis. Following the theory of cognitive metaphors (Lakoff and Johnson), Fahlenbrach assumes that audiovisual codes and signs always rely fundamentally on schemata of physical and affective experience. Following George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Fahlenbrach regards the mapping of physical schemata onto acoustic, visual, and, respectively, audiovisual elements in the media as a metaphorical process. Drawing on an example of film sound, she explains how filmmakers project acoustic qualities onto visual Gestalt patterns and thereby construct audiovisual metaphors that we recognize immediately and long before we reflect on them, that is, they activate meanings that rely on basic experiences of our body.

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