Sonic De|Territories I
2:00pm - 2:30pm
Sonorous Borders – Sonic De|Territories
Goethe Universität Frankfurt, Gerany, Germany
When it comes to territories, the concept of the border is a most crucial one – on the one hand, just an ‘imaginary’ line, on the other hand, a demarcation in which the realities of power and injustice become manifest. In this paper, I would like to focus on two artists and their projects of ‘working through’ the concept of the border in their different sonic productions: on the one hand John Luther Adams’ ‘border-crossing’ performance of Inuksuit at Friendship Park, on the other hand the work of Australian artist Jon Rose, who calls himself a "fencologist" – an artist who has played music on all types of fences, from barbed wires to army fences, worldwide.
Whether it was playing the Mexico/USA border fence in the Sonoran Desert, or the separation fence in Bil'in, a Palestinian village located in the Ramallah and al-Bireh Governorate – Rose, for the past 30 or so years, has been playing fences with a bow. And while people on both sides of the fence come, and join, and listen, Rose has always dodged authorities while doing so: e.g., in November 2006, Rose was detained and later released by Israeli Defence Forces. Rose’s art creates sonic de|territories in situ.
2:30pm - 3:00pm
A Distributed Body: Non-binary Becoming Through Sound
Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Espoo (FI)
The art-process Body Resonance started in Seyðisfjörður (IS) in 2015 as a performance with my body sonically interacting with the walls and floors of a resonant space. These interactions were recorded and later played back as a sound installation in an art-space in Berlin. All actions were transcribed in a booklet to engage the fragmented relations of body, words, space, and sound, as an assemblage using bodily intensities to facilitate an affective relation to the listener. The Deleuzo-Guattarian Body without Organs is important here, in its processual state and articulated by surrounding factors, spatial properties and movement. This is regarded as a multiplicity in a process of deterritorialization, acting on the border of the actual and the real (A Thousand Plateaus 1987).
For Deleuze and Guattari the body is fluid, extending beyond itself like the distributed movements in Body Resonance, referring to a body in invention. This frames a critical practice using sound as material, facilitating an ongoing exchange into new becomings. Additionally, the immediate signs of gender identity gets erased through the sound of the flesh hitting the surfaces. This transformative state rethinks the no longer binary body as pure sound and movement. Thus manifesting a flight from predetermined ideas of what a body is, what it can do, and how different codes of action are understood. It questions the border of the body and how we perceive, use, and identify ourselves as signs in contemporary culture. This relates to listening as well and whose “voices” are (re)presented.
3:00pm - 3:30pm
In and Out of Tune: Deleuze and Guattari on Music, Territoriality and the Nation-State
Johns Hopkins University
This paper draws upon Deleuze and Guattari’s discussion of music and territoriality to articulate the sonic dimensions of collective becomings. Specifically, it argues that Deleuze and Guattari use various sonic-musical concepts to describe the ecological, aesthetic, and affective tones of community-formation. In A Thousand Plateaus, the authors describe the modern state as a process of “harmonization” that concretizes into a harmonic “refrain” with the nation. The national refrain then lives under the constant threat of deterritorialization from minor mistakes in harmony or deterritorialized music. Such deterritorializations carry the potential of a positive micropolitics when subaltern voices express alternative forms of living-together with different musical styles. Deterritorializations are dangerous when they turn into fascist “resonance machines” that reach up to the state and down to the bodies of individuals. With its sonic interpretation of Deleuze and Guattari, my paper makes two wider contributions. First, it emphasizes the need to reformulate notions of power, statehood, and civic resistance in sonic-musical terms to capture the involvement of human bodies and more-than-human elements in the body collective. Second, it challenges classical models of collectivism by taking communities to be composed of coexistent becomings, rather than stable entities. In doing so, the paper helps to better address the growing dissonances between territories and populations as well as the co-presence of pluralist efforts and intensifying nationalist tendencies in many states today.