The Acousmatic Lectures have roots in discursive practices and propose a listening experience based on the Pythagorean acousmatic model: a mode of presentation in which the speaker is hidden from the public. Acousmatic Lectures encourage both orator and listener to focus exclusively on the acoustic space that provides a frame for the spoken word, its temperament and tone, without the addition of visual information or the speaker’s body language. For this series of lectures, all visual clues generated by the speaker’s facial and bodily expressions (which normally influence how information is received) remain hidden. Nevertheless, the speaker’s voice and its dissemination in the surrounding environment still convey the speaker’s physical presence. This approach underscores the dialectical conflict between abstract and sensorial information, confronting us with an array of decisions specific to the act of listening itself.
Die Acousmatic Lectures sind eine Reihe von diskursiven akustischen Erlebnissen, die das pythagoreische akusmatische Modell als Ausgangspunkt verwenden, um eine neue Weise der Interaktion zwischen Redner und Zuhörer zu konstituieren. Dem Informationsaustausch zwischen Redner und Publikum und deren Umgebung werden alle Arten von visueller Unterstützung verweigert; die Situation wird nur akustisch geleitet – durch Sprechen und Zuhören. In den Acousmatic Lectures werden keine Mikrofone und/oder Verstärker verwendet. Auf diese Weise soll die physische Präsenz des Sprechers durch die natürliche Lautstärke seiner Stimme und ihres Klanges besser zum Ausdruck kommen. Hier wird die Stimme als ein vielseitig definierbarer akustischer Raum verstanden, in dem physikalische und affektive Kommunikationsgewohnheiten transformiert werden können. Dabei wird die dialektische Auseinandersetzung mit abstrakten sprachlichen Informationen und sensorischen akustischen Informationen der Stimme unterstrichen und man wird mit einer breite Palette von Entscheidungen konfrontiert: der des Zuhörens.
What, If Anything, Is a Virus?
What a virus and acousmatics have in common is, first, the questioning the nature of presence, and, second, the convoluted relations between body and spirit. A virus, viewed as an entity, it is not something, it has no consistence of its own, and it is not alive, since it needs other forms life for its mechanical reproduction and ruinous spread, like a “negative surplus” of life, or its refuse. There has always been the more or less tacit fear that the material would contaminate the higher spiritual realms, so that materiality was seen as “viral” and the spirit as a kind of rampart to restrain and contain this contamination. But with Hegel, this image is reversed so that one can conceive spiritual advancement as coterminous with the spread of a contagious disease. This poses the larger question of the “power of ideas”, or the capacity of ideas to become material forces, indeed to go “viral.” What is this strange entity at the intersection of body and spirit, infinitely small and all-powerful that we call a virus? Can one beat a virus with a virus?
Mladen Dolar is a philosopher and psychoanalyst, born in 1951 in Maribor, Slovenia. He has been teaching at the Faculty of Philosophy in Ljubljana until 2002. In 1992 associate professor of German classical philosophy, in 1996 associate professor of philosophy and theoretical psychoanalysis. Dolar was co-founder, together with Slavoj Žižek and Rastko Močnik, of the Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis, whose main goal is to achieve a synthesis between Lacanian psychoanalysis and the philosophy of German idealism.
Akusmatische Hörstrategien dörflicher Traditionen
Popova’s Acousmatic Lecture deals with the Bulgarian village of Dobralak, which in many ways is like other villages. The villagers are considered to be tradition bearers. Following the Pythagorean tradition of acousmatics, the whole village can be thought of as an active inner circle, audible from the outside but not observable. Their voices bear witness to the past and they contain multiple cultural-technical transformations and historical layers in their sound web. They correlate with the distances within the soundscapes and with the strength and permeability of the layer of separation known as the curtain. In its manifold manifestations, the acousmatic curtain is interpreted as an epistemological situation and described and questioned with sound examples from village life.
Deniza Popova studied singing/music theater (Academy of Music “Hanns Eisler”) then musicology, ethnomusicology and Bulgarian studies (Humboldt University / Free University. She has been researching and singing in the ensemble Polýnushka for Russian and Ukrainian authentic folklore since 2004, and in the ensemble Extracts, for artistic-creative music research since 2013.
Prof. Dr. Alex Arteaga
How to participate? And before that, how to think participation? How to address the constitution and the agency of the singular? How to think the coexistence of intertwined presences? And how to create conditions, how to open possibilities? This lecture explores this territory taking in account, in structure and content, the specific setting of its presentation.
Alex Arteaga’s research integrates aesthetic and philosophical practices relating to aesthetics, the emergence of sense, meaning and knowledge and the relationships between aurality, architecture and the environment through phenomenological and enactivist approaches. He studied piano, music theory, composition, electroacoustic music, and architecture in Berlin and Barcelona and received a PhD in philosophy from the Humboldt University. He currently heads the Auditory Architecture Research Unit, lectures in the MA Sound Studies and Sonic Arts (Berlin University of the Arts), is professor for contemporary philosophy and artistic research at the Research Master in Art and Design (EINA / Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona) and develops his research project Architecture of Embodiment.
Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel
Is virtual reality part of reality?
In my lecture I will examine the extent to which imagination contributes to our perception of reality. I will test out the relationship between imagination and perception according to the ontology of virtual reality, which Australian philosopher David Chalmers calls a genuine form of perceivable albeit digital reality.
Markus Gabriel studied philosophy, classical philology, modern German literature and German studies in Hagen, Bonn, and Heidelberg, where he received his PhD in 2005 on Schelling’s late philosophy under advisor Jens Halfwassen. He was a guest researcher at the University of Lisbon in 2005, and interim member of the academic senate in Heidelberg from 2006-2008. He completed his postdoctoral qualitification on skepticism and idealism in Heidelberg in 2008. From 2008-09 he was assistant professor at the Department of Philosophy of the New School for Social Research in New York City. Since July 2009, Gabriel teaches theory of knowledge and philosophy of the modern age at the University of Bonn.
Prof. Dr. Hans-Jörg Rheinberger
The Hands of the Engraver–Albert Flocon meets Gaston Bachelard
Between the end of the 1940s and the late 1950s, a collaboration of a peculiar sort developed in Paris between the copper engraver of German origin Albert Flocon and Gaston Bachelard, the French philosopher of science and poetologist of imagination. The outcome of this encounter is not very well known even by experts of Bachelard’s oeuvre or of post-war art in France. Flocon and Bachelard together created a series of art books to which the former contributed the engravings and the latter enriched them with shorter or longer commentaries. These commentaries take the form of reflections on the hand of the engraver, the resistance it experiences, and the constructive forces it sets free. The encounter will be described through the presentation of a number of selected examples that will give an impression of the entire oeuvre. It will also shed light on the connection between Bachelard’s poetological and the epistemological interests.
Hans-Jörg Rheinberger is a molecular biologist and science historian and studied philosophy, linguistics, and biology in Tübingen and Berlin. He is an honorary professor of the history of science at the TU Berlin, Dr. h.c. at the ETH Zurich, member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the Leopoldina, and former director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. His main focus today is the history and epistemology of the experiment and the relationship between the arts and the sciences.
Prof. Dr. Birgit Schneider
Forms of an Ecological Aesthetics of Climate and Climate Change
The climate is invisible because of its scientific definition as long-term weather statistics. Starting from this postulated an-aesthetic of weather, the lecture will outline the visualization strategies that made perception of the climate possible via early forms of data visualization. In early climate research these perceptions were tied not only to the dispositifs of instrument-based measurements but also of organic sensing that is inseparable to climate perception. Historical examples will be contrasted with today’s visualizations of anthropogenic climate change, which integrate the human factor into the ecology of the climate.
Birgit Schneider studied aesthetics, media theory, and media art at the Karlsruhe University of Art and Design, Goldsmiths College London, and Humboldt University in Berlin. Since 2009, she is researching climatic imagery as a Dilthey Fellow at the European Media Studies program at the University of Potsdam. Her work focuses on the field of image, cultural, and media studies: graphic methods such as maps and diagrams, climatic data visualization, digital images; the theory and technological history of textiles and the punch card; camouflage—strategies of invisibility around 1900; TV history + interference and disruption; art and media history of sound & vision.
Prof. Dr. Sabeth Buchmann
(Dis) articulation—Voice as Place and Medium of Transformation
In contemporary art there are a number of expressive forms that question the representability of individual and collective trauma, and, in connection to this, the voice is performed as a literal and metaphorical medium: be it in the form of auditions or therapeutic language training. To the extent the possibilities and limitations of articulation then serve as the subject of the representation, the voice proves to be at the same time a psycho-emotional, socio-cultural, and societal-political topos. Referencing Paul B. Preciado’s essay “Junkie. Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Era of Pharmapornography” (2008), the lecture will examine select films and film installations by artists Ana Hoffner and Katarina Zdjelar in an effort to elevate the voice as the medium and location of (self-) transformation.
Sabeth Buchmann is an art historian and critic. She publishes regularly in the journal Texte zur Kunst and others. Since 1997, she has lectured and worked as an assistant, visiting, and interim professor at various academies and universities. Since 2004, she is professor of modern and postmodern art history at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
Two sides of a curtain
Essay on acousmatics
A curtain splits the room in two. You can speak and listen on both sides. However, both sides are not the same. One knows more than the other. But which?
A lecture with examples from Pierre Schaeffer to Alessandro Bosetti.
Marcus Gammel, born in Bremen in 1975, studied musicology, literature and philosophy in Berlin, Paris and New York. Works as radio producer, dramatruge and music journalist. Since 2009, he directs the sound art programme of Deutschlandradio Kultur. Prix Phonurgia Nova 2005 for “Europas Wahn” (with Viktoria Tkaczyk).
Memory at the Time of the Anthropocene:
Notes on the Post-Archive
The lecture concerns new perspectives on the archive before the background of an evolving understanding of memory and remembering. I focus on the question as to whether we can think the archive as anything other than a storage facility.
Sven Spieker teaches in the Comparative Literature Program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He specializes in modern and contemporary art and literature, with an emphasis on Russia and East-Central Europe, and a special interest in issues related to documentary and knowledge production in art. Spieker has lectured and published on topics ranging from the historical avant-garde (Malevich, Rodchenko, Dziga Vertov) to late 20th-century art practice from Wolfgang Kippenberger to subREAL. His books and articles have appeared in German, Korean, Russian, Swedish, Polish, and English. Spieker has organized several international conferences (most recently: The Office in the Studio: The Administration of Modernism at the University of Jena, Germany). Spieker‘s latest book publication focused on the archive as a crucible of European modernism (The Big Archive, MIT Press, 2008; Korean translation 2014). Spieker is the founding editor of ARTMargins Print and a member of the editorial collective that runs ARTMargins Online.
Current projects include a Critical Anthology of Conceptual Art in Eastern Europe; a study of Didactic Art, as well as a book about Kazimir Malevich in the media age.
The Living Matter of History
We are the living matter of history, traveling trough different scales of reality. Our materiality, our own bodies, far away from the dominant cybernetic representations of macromolecular machines, from the genetic programming of psychological and social levels, are open to new possibilities, with multiple spaces for chaos and the creation of order. We will take a look at the role of chance in our ontogeny, which makes that for the same initial situation more than one phenotipic output is possible: that is developmental noise, a dimension of phenomena that helps us to understand that the differences between organisms can not only be explained only in terms of genetic and environmental variations. Being conscious of the multiple interactions between macro and micro levels, our subjectivities may change and help us to think, move, and experience our bodies differently, to create a more hopeful relationship with nature.
Federico Geller studied and taught Biologic Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires. He is a member of “Abriendo Caminos/La comunitaria TV”, a collective which endeavours to create communication tools (video, interventions, graphic material) for grass-roots political work and cojuncture situations. He also works in “Jeta Ka’i”, a team that aims to popularise biological knowledge and to discuss its technological applications and social consequences. Some of his designs and drawings have been shown in ExArgentina/La Normalidad (Berlin-Köln, Buenos Aires 2003-2006), The Future of Reciprocal Readymade (New York 2005), Kollektive Kreativität (Kassel 2005), Pay Attention to Ham (Köln 2008), Que Viva la Diversidad (Santa Fe, 2010),Truth Is Concrete/Steirischer Herbst (Graz 2012). Geller lives in Buenos Aires and Berlin.
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