edited by Song-Ming Ang, Kim Cascone – 
The Book of Guilty Pleasures

Song-Ming Ang

Song-Ming Ang, 
, Pages 208
, ISBN 978-9810880699
Published on the occasion of the Singapore Biennial, 2011, this book is a collection of “confessions” from a selection of one hundred artists, curators, musicians, and writers about what they think are their aural guilty pleasures. These contributions certainly have a glamorous quality and are potentially scandalous – they are revealing things that would usually not be mentioned. This generates much curiosity through a well-observed psychological mechanism (as with the popular PostSecret “pretend” online community). The result is an ample spectrum of pleasures that connect to a wide range of subjects. Without trying to overly classify the answers, there are some common traits which can be recognized. For example, many felt guilty about still feeling the legacy of teenage pop bands or cheesy vinyls with no intellectual “art” in the work. There are also aural fetishists who get off on certain daily sounds, and others who are triggered by the “pleasure” word, revealing how fond they are of some aural-induced sexual arousal. The truth is that we all become obsessed at certain points about certain albums and listen to them repeatedly (regardless of the author’s artistic relevance), or became entranced by some (usually little) noise, disregarding its oddity. So it’s easy for the reader to find something to identify with at least with one of the contributors, transferring his own aural guilt and more than likely wanting to enjoy his own auditory pleasures. And that sounds exactly like the ultimate plan of the two smart editors…