The Uncanny Lays in The Seamlessness of Transitions
Maria Valeria Biondo.
The following catalogue essay titled Curating Sonic Practice is part of a broader project, A Bodily State of Noise. An ongoing curatorial collaboration with curator Marina Cortez. A Bodily State of Noise focuses on creating channels for the promotion of artistic and cultural practices that use sound and noise as a relational framework to discuss models of identity-construction and power relations - often exemplified in the exploration of sonic warfare and information processing.
Starting from Foucault's ideas on the prison and the hospital from his books Discipline and Punishment (1975) and The History of Madness (1961), A Bodily State of Noise expands upon the previous measures of listening and the history ofsound art, from the phenomenological (Merleau- Ponty) to the schizological approach (Bonnet) to find an in between,common ground for listening to things instead of just looking at them and/or naming them.
This catalogue essay develops as a sonic orientation to curation, which can be an effective, generative process, in a play-like structure. Taking inspiration from the Shakespearian play composed in five acts, Curating Sonic Practice presentsconcepts, concerns, and speculations as characters, that speak, live, and listen in space and time. This choice allows the more circumstantial aspects of criticism to emerge in a non-linear, and sometimes even non-existent way.
Curating Sonic Practice play is further divided in two main sections, respectively Long-Term Memory – Tracing and Short-Term Memory – Rhizome (Deleuze & Guattari). Long Term Memory – Tracing (composed by the first, the second and the fifth act) has a quasi-linear structure where the relationships between subjects and objects are clearly defined. This section operates via dichotomies and dualities in order to answer questions of consciousness, materiality and fiction.
Instead, Short-Term Memory – Rhizome (composed by the third and the fourth act) is not intended begin at any specificpoint and does not go in in any direction or progression. Subjects and objects are not clearly defined to not create a hierarchical structure that is inevitably present in the first section. The third act has a folding structure 1, and long-term memory is still present even if mitigated. I consider it an in between act, that will get the reader gradually accustomed to the intertwined, and even more confusing passages of the fourth act.
The fourth act has a rhizomatic structure, developing arguments and in an open ring style. The reason behind choice is to initiate a dialogue between different theories of sound, the multiple elements that constitute sound, its relationship with the audible, declinations of listening, and finally the everyday, cultural, and economic obstacles that get, often, in the way ofimagining and listening to possible worlds.By understanding how to redefine our approach to listening in a collective, bodily, and non - hierarchical way, I believe, generative practices can be imagined.
Keywords: sound studies; noise; power; identity-construction, sonic warfare; information processing; theory-fiction; new possible worlds.
1 William Borroughs folding technique: or cut up technique is a way of writing where parts of a text are rearranged to create a new piece of writing.