Cyberbored/Culture-Jammed: The Short-Circuit of Musical Progress
Nuove Musiche Numero 6 - 2019, pagine: 9-25
DOI 10.12871/97888333957911 | @ Pisa University Press 2021
Pubblicato: 20 dicembre 2021
The following investigation identifies two potential departure points for scholarship on the work of Johannes Kreidler and – the following scare quotes should be read very emphatically indeed – technologically “engaged” art in general. In both cases, I demonstrate how Kreidler’s technological practice undermines two ideological traditions – and their respective foundational myths – of techno-musical progress. The first tradition, characterised by an immanent universalism and a concomitantly utopian teleology, is manifested in a number of hierarchical, “establishment” institutions: New Music in the upper case. The second, predicated on relativistic epistemology and focused on subject-centred musical practice with emphasis on the performance of marginalised social identities, has lately emerged, largely in response to upper-case New Music, as a non-hierarchical, emancipatory narrative – a sort of counterutopia – and is perhaps best exemplified by the individual “composerperformer” and their close collaborators: lower-case “new music”, as it were. This tradition’s critical position towards upper-case New Music (sometimes, not particularly helpfully, conflated with Modernism) is probably quite familiar by now, in Anglo-American scholarship, for example, from the works of Georgina Born and Lydia Goehr, among many others. However, I argue that Kreidler’s work – in addition to that of a few of his younger contemporaries – not only attacks hierarchical-institutionalb New Music in the upper case but also demonstrates the ethical and aesthetic limitations of lower-case new music practice, problematizes its emancipatory claims, and ultimately exposes its utopian project as an impotent, aporetic offshoot of the tradition it purportedly rejects. Despite this, Kreidler’s work can nevertheless be understood, via Virilio, as fundamentally humanistic in its performance of artistic futility, deploying pitiless technological processes to reveal a pitiful human subject.
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Peer reviewed. Certificazione della qualità