Plastic Proxies and the Concert for the Here-Now

    Plastic Proxies and The Concert for the Here-Now
    Rodney LaTourelle and Jerszy Seymour
    25 – 26 november 2013

    Assume a position and Act Instinctively.
    The workshop uses the context of sound to achieve and articulate a position or ‘proxy’. The use of proxies or pseudonyms is an everyday reality, especially well-known in the online world. The notion that identity is a construction and is not necessarily pre-determined is an everyday fact. But the real consequences of this situation are often overlooked. The question is one of position. To have a voice is to express a position.

    A sonic proxy can be found, constructed or sampled and corresponds to an aesthetic point of view, a way of approaching the world and acting in it. By shifting the context of work into the media of sound, the workshop provides a fresh frame for participants to explore artistic identity in a visceral and immediate way. Precedents are found in the wide range of experiments that have expanded the notion of sound and music over the last century until today. From Debussy’s experiments with alternative tonal systems to Edgar Varèse’s groundbreaking emphasis on percussion and electronics, numerous artists and composers have used sound as a creative material. The controlled chance and electronic serialism of Pierre Boulez influenced Karlheinz Stockhausen as well as John Cage whose 1952 silent composition 4′33″ consisted of only of the environmental sounds heard by the audience during the performance. The physical nature of sound has led to numerous experiments in sonic weapons, developed in Germany during World War II and used by the US for riot control and most recently against Somali pirates. In the 1970 essay, The Electronic Revolution, William S. Burroughs proposed the playback of sampled sounds to initiate riots, generate confusion, and exert psychic control. This in turn was a formative influence on Industrial music. These are just a few examples of the expanded field and affective nature of sound. What is important is the concrete presence of sonic energy and its affect on the total body.

    Importantly, the refocusing of artistic concerns in a parallel frame provokes the exploration of a personal and conceptual approach that goes beyond media specificity. While the workshop is an experiment in sound it is also a provocation to assume a position and to understand the complexity of relations that are formed when we interact from this position with others. The workshop’s limited time frame that culminates with a concert uses the pressure to ‘perform’ as a forge for an artistic attitude situated in the ecstatic moment.