Barry Spinello’s films also represent an attempt to achieve a complete integration of sound and image, but one that can ultimately be understood as associative rather than assaultive. Spinello added several arrows to the synthetic soundtrack quiver in his application of self-adhesive Micotape, Zip-A-Tone shading, and lettering on both the soundtrack and the image track. Combining these materials with ink and paint, Spinello made a series of films between 1967 and 1971 that highlighted both the synthesis of image and sound as well as their interdependence. Spinello wrote that his eleven-minute film Soundtrack (1970) was created without recourse to “a camera or sound equipment of any sort,” and cited Cage’s 1938 manifesto as a primary influence.
He also made a distinction between standard film sound synchronization and sound-image integration. The former, he offered, “is really choreography of one art form (technology, or thought sequence) to another; but to my mind, it’s not what true audio-visuality can be.” Elaborating on the distinction, Spinello situates himself as a direct respondent to Moholy’s call for new musical ideas through the manipulation of the film apparatus, quoting the Bauhaus instructor’s statement that “Only the interrelated use of both sight and sound as mutually interdependent components of a purposeful entity can result in a qualitative enrichment or lead to an entirely new vehicle of expression.” For Spinello, this meant conceiving image and sound not as separate resources but as a conceptually integrated unit. He concludes that Soundtrack represents “a descriptive record and anthology” of Moholy’s notions of writing “acoustic sequences on the sound track without having to record real sound.”