To begin; the
basic premise behind electronic-based sound art today is the exploration
of the introspective world of the eared imagination under the
influence of today's high-frequency electronic/computerized environment.
Moreover, that since it is difficult making sense of today's swirling
phantasmagorical media society, the general proposition behind
electronic-based sound art may best be to look for a paradoxical
summation of this uncertainty by taking advantage of today's superficial
sound saturation; a saturation so dense that it fails to communicate
anything particular at all upon which we can concur - except perhaps
its overall incomprehensible sense of ripe delirium - as the reproduction
system pulses with higher and higher, faster and faster flows
of digital data to the point of near hysteria.
Perhaps the result of this ripe information abundance is that
the greater the amount of sound information that flows, the greater
the uncertainty which is produced; at least for thinking, questioning
people. So, the tremendous load o sound information digitally
produced and reproduced all round us today ultimately seems to
make less, not more, conventional sense.
If accepted, this supposition, it seems to me, plays into the
history of abstract sound art which teaches us that sound art
may refuse to recognize all thought as existing in the form of
representation, and that by scanning the spread of representation
sound art may formulate an understanding of the laws that provide
representation with its organizational basis. As a result, in
my view, it is electronic-based sound art's onus to see what unconventional,
paradoxical, summational, immaterial sense - in terms of the subjective
world of the imagination - it might make of all this based on
an appropriately decadent reading of our paradoxically material-based
(yet electronically activated) social media environment.
Such a basically abstract, artistic, paradoxical/summational
fancy would begin with the presumption that an information-loaded
nuclear weapon has already exploded, showering us with bits of
radioactive-like information sound bytes, thus drastically changing
the way in which we perceive and act - even in our private subconscious
dream worlds. It is this internal, subconscious, paradoxical drama
- this subconscious contradictory tension - which I find potentially
interesting today as a subject specifically suitable for electronic-based
sound art. But it must be remembered that electronic-based sound
art resides in a field of perception (at once seamless and fragmented)
which itself is made up of electronic/phantasmagoric energies
corresponding to a new (and paradoxical) combination of space
and time; an immersive sound perspective without horizon.
Electronic-based sound art, by virtue of its distinctive electron
constitution and hence networked fluidity, floats in an extensive
stratosphere of virtuality. Hence, the particular constitution
of electronic-based sound art is best seen, perhaps, as an osmotic
membrane: a blotter of instantaneous ubiquity/proliferation. This
summational view of electronic-based sound art results in the
atomization and disintegration of what once was considered normality
into immateriality as this delirious disintegration/merging yields
up to art's scrutiny a ghostly audio panorama based on circulation.
Consequently, electronic-based sound art reflects (and works with)
de-centered prior social powers which previously existed in our
But the world now, when viewed as shaped by de-centered electronic
overload, is understood as only a flustered code of digital signifiers:
a confused collective representation which bewilderingly continues
to mutate the ideology of its own reproduction.
So, how can artists symbolically turn these de-centered codes
into artistic abstractions of social merit? Perhaps because we
know that these symbolic codes (which, after all, helter-skelter,
make us up) are positively phantasmagorical.
If so, perhaps a socially relevant digitally-based audio creativity
can be found in today's electronic-based art's ecstatic potentiality
- in that electrons partake (and make up) the all-encompassing
phantasmagorical/technological sign-field within which we live
and which defines us (at least in part). Since prevailing representation
is made up of conventional, rigid social signs (and sound art
typically of unconventional irresponsible signs - the mode that
represents the real arbitrary nature of all signs as it subverts
the socially controlled system of meaning) - electronic-based
sound art may offer us the opportunity for the creation of relevant
and applicable anti-social phantasmagorical signs (hence abstract
ecstatic anti-signs) which may continue to mentally move and multiply
us without stop.
If the ultra-dissemination of the sign in electronic-based sound
art may create phantasmagorical hyper-logics of use to the formation
of art, electronic-based art's abstract potential may prove useful
in questioning received notions of representation when viewed
against assumptions of utility versus pleasure.
Electronic-based sound art already address previous analog sound
art as an institution and transgresses conventional art's basic
assumptions of uniqueness as it opens itself up to new spaces
of malleable and combinatory sites - hence to a perpetual multiplication
of significance creating hybrids of inferences. Digital compositions
open up a territory of signification, then, towards the creation
of hybrid decoded and deterritorialized phantasmagorical meanings.
Meaning in sound art and in life then advances by seeing more
clearly into its own underlying phantasmagorical assumptions of
excess, by facing up to the radical implications of those assumptions,
and by purging itself from conventional ways of thinking. Thus
perhaps electronic-based art's unconscious intention is to achieve
an ultimate phantasmal integration by dissolving material form
into its original imaginary foundation.
Such a dynamic sense of aesthetic electronica as contemplative
vision might suggest the potential of social re-configuration
then as it subsumes our previous world of simulation/representation
into a phantasmagorical nexus of over-lapping linked hybrid observations
of the outer world with precise extractions of human mentality.
Encounters, then, with computer simulation, one may assume, might
create an opportunity for social audio transgression - and for
a vertiginous ecstasy of thought. Surely such a hybrid electronica/phantasmal
impetus can help release pent up ecstatic energies in that the
more overwhelming and restrictive the social mechanism, the more
exaggerated are the resulting effects - and hence excel the assumed
determinism of the technological-based phenomenon inherent (supposedly)
in our post-industrial information society. Therefore, this way,
electronic-based sound art may serve as an ecstatic impulse/phenomena
which proliferates in proportion to the technicization of society
- as such an electronica-ecstasy may occur as a result of the
technological society's obsession with the phantasmal character
of electronic speed-proliferation.
Prediction: as human psychic energies are stifled and/or bypassed
by certain controlling aspects of mass technology, such a hybrid/summarized
ecstatic phenomena will increasingly break out in forms of art.
Similarly, simulation technology (when used in the creation of
electronica-based art) will promote an indispensable alienation
from the socially constructed self necessary for the outburst
of such ecstatic experiences/acts. Inversely, electronic technology
will enable the contemporary artist to express ecstatic reactions
in ways never before possible. Thus, this ecstatic counteraction
will provide a phantasmal defiance through transport aimed against
the controlling world's blandness and self-destructiveness. This
aesthetic philosophy will provide a fundamental antithesis to
the authoritarian, mechanical, simulated rigidities of the controlling
Yet how more precisely might it be possible to excel the numbing
equivalence brought on by the reproduction sound glut which reduces
all difference to equivalence? I would suggest that perhaps beneath
the established signs, and in spite of them, another, deeper,
discourse which recalls a time of phantasmal consistency exists.
Perhaps beneath the interplay of their precisely delineated distinctions,
electronic-based sound art can bring a phantasmal similitude to
the sign by loading all signs with a phantasmal homogeneous consistency
that ultimately erases their assigned singularity.
If so, and as a result, the entire Western cultural episteme might
be fundamentally rearranged and modified as signs cease to fulfill
the function of revealing how the world is supposedly ordered.
In phantasmal/hybrid understanding thought detaches itself from
the order and authority of the old sign and topples down into
the realm of imagination, of fantasy, and into non-knowledge -
towards imagining questions rather than pat assigned answers.
Yet this fancied aesthetic non-knowledge is certainly the most
erudite, the most aware, the most conscious area of our current
identity, as it is also the phantasmal depths from which all digital
representation emerges in its precarious, but glittering, existence.
Here such electronic-based sound art helps us to understand that
the "real world" is just made up of all the phantasmal
images of materiality now disintegrating and recomposing via virtuality.
Therefore, electronic-based sound art may be capable of composing
new hybrid sound art from the disintegrating spread of digital
signs found scattered throughout the space of computer memory.
Through this articulation, digital grammar may appear as phantasmal
semi-abstraction, because in electronic-based sound art the sign
no longer consists only of representations but of hybrid signs
that in turn represent other representations, and so on, as the
links of phantasmal thought require.
Too, it may consist of phantasmal digital elements, grouped into
new spreading systems, which represent the distinguishing of material
representations, and hence may possess characters which the ear
can scan and identify only because they have a structure that
is, in a way, the chimerical, dark, concave, inner-side of audiobility.
The conditions of these links reside outside of representation
however, and inside of phantasmal abstract in a sort of behind-the-scenes
immersive phantasmal noise world deep and dense enough that audio
representation finds the point where audible forms are digitally
joined together in the suppositious. Electronic-based sound art
can perhaps help direct us towards that peak - that necessary
but always inaccessible point - which dives down, beyond our ear,
towards the very aeriality of things.
Indeed it is this quivering phantasmal cohesion that maintains
the sovereign and secret sway over each and every audio sample
- this phantasmal vibrating - which I find interesting and beyond
reductive minimalist abstraction (thus into an excessive hybrid
abstraction) in analyzing the potential for electronic-based audio
art. The space of material-based representational order is from
now on atomized into digital phantasmality and only its hidden
chimerical veins are useful in constructing new, socially relevant,
audio art; an audio art, which is in theory, opposed to the tabular
mental space laid out by classical thought.
May I just say that this phantasmal flee from the play of materialistic-based
representation has the most urgent political/social ramifications
in our media saturated society. This, I think, well-founded but
ambiguous phantasmal model for sound art indicates the capacity
for the electronic media's worth as it provides the explication
of the phantasmal links that abet communications as it expresses
the laws of composition and decomposition that rule it.
Hence excessive audio abstraction can be, in a sense, the representation
of all sound representation when it attempts to represent the
unlimited field of representation, which non-utilitarian phantasmal
ideology attempts to scrutinize in accordance with a non-discursive
method which now appears as an abstract digital metaphysics; a
metaphysics which excessive abstraction helps to step outside
of itself to posit itself outside of the mechanics of uniform
The emergence of the spectral audio project I have outlined above
will, I hope, contribute to the dissolution of the field of non-electronic
sound representations by inventing a sound art in which what matters
is no longer sound identities, or audio logos, but rather dense,
phantasmagorical forces developed on the basis of inclusion -
where from now on things will be heard only from the depths of
this inclusive ecstatic density - withdrawn into itself, perhaps
- adumbrated and darkened by its obscurity - but bound tightly
together and inescapably grouped by the vigor that is hidden in
virtual depth. Such dynamic abstract audio forms will be presented
to our ears only in an already pre-decomposed digital vivacious
state, already articulated in that insinuated nether darkness
that is fermenting them towards a phantasmagorical aural discourse
which is both capricious and, paradoxically, socially responsible.