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Thread: The inadvertent future

  1. #211
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    now synthetic aesthetics are more fluid, promiscuity, baroque, overloaded, spongiform
    Do you just mean in terms of music? Architecture and product design are still pretty clean and minimal for the most part. Apple in particular as Barty mentioned I think.

  2. #212
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    re Afrofuturism as exhausted set of concepts

    i had a blog thing i was writing up for Christmas that i never finished, but it included a riff contrasting Migos versus Janelle Monae (both being based in Atlanta)

    Janelle Monae, total critic's fave, Dirty Computer topped some magazine polls, c.f. Culture II which was not mentioned in any (except for an Atlanta based webzine which put it in their Top 40 of Atlanta artist releases of 2018 - at number forty!!!!!)

    Monae = jouissance-free zone, get nothing from it, not a tingle, versus Migos whose music drips and splashes with jouissance

    But the main point was that Monae's music is an essay about Afrofuturism, makes all this references and allusions and outright replicas of earlier sounds - whereas Migos (and their ilk - all the things Crowley said G. Tate should be aware) is actually afrofuturist in a completely fresh, non-referential and non-reverential way and without needing to make any kind of rhetorical song and dance about being afrofuturistic - it's just out there in the world (or at least it was, until they killed their sound by over-exposure and three dull solo records in quick succession)

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  4. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    Do you just mean in terms of music? Architecture and product design are still pretty clean and minimal for the most part. Apple in particular as Barty mentioned I think.
    i think architecture is getting more fluid and bendy and spatially-warped isn't it? partly because architects can design all the strange spaces using digital technology, they can map out things that were hard to do once, and i should imagine there's all kinds of innovations with materials that allow them to be less strict.

    it's not like a new baroque, it's not bringing back ornaments and fold upon folds, but i get the impression that it's becoming more fluid -

    but yeah mostly i meant music - electronic music on the whole is super detailed and maximalist, because it can be, the software affords that level of finicking. To do something stark and emaciated and empty is a retro statement, like Perc's techno tracks with a Test Dept feel

    the space of the internet itself is not clean or logical - it's cluttered, you jump around, there's no linearity

    there is an amazing essay by Rem Koolhaas called Junkspace - it's not really about the internet, it's actually about the promiscuous mix of styles in public spaces like shopping malls and airports and so on, it's very scathing and vividly poetically written - but there are passages in it that really sound like he could be describing the space of the internet, also the kind of internal squalor and clutter that one's consciousness develops through living the digital life.

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  6. #214
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    Yeah agreed bliss though me and Migos stop around 2014. Don't here anything new in Culture.

    Future sound of London was basically the most self-conscious form of that essay on the future you spoke of re monae right? listening to their essential mix now, think it's all i have left of them after 92. strange. almost too. um. well 60s style psychedelic, i guess.

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  8. #215
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    Yes, more fluid. Bendy. Curvy.

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  10. #216
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    Default age of plastic (sonic slight return)

    one further thought about synthetic = futurity as having this long history behind it

    a sonic example of that would be with Auto Tune, which most definitely has allowed for a bunch of distinctively 21st Century sounds and effects (and become an expressive field of action for artists - future, migos, et al - but even some indie types like Bon Iver and most recently Steve Malkmus and the chap in that Americana band Lambchop have cottoned on to it)

    yet when it first came along most people -including myself - thought it was just a vocoder, which had a couple of decades of history in pop music behind it at that point (i.e. 1998)

    it actually doesn't sound the same as vocoder, and it would prove to have its own idiomatic potentials, things that were only possible through using / abusing it etc

    but it sounded near-enough that at first it seemed to be an extension of this longstanding gimmicky robot-voice tradition going back to Giorgio Moroder's solo records, Telex, Kraftwerk, or various funk and soul artists

    that sense of it being already slightly retro-future or at least corny was helped by the fact that around the time of Cher's "Believe" and other early AutoTune hits, you had Daft Punk doing the vocoder we-are-robots type shtick in an arch, ironic way

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  12. #217
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    Thinking of the experience of the internet is interesting. The internet as a space. A geography. Good one.

    Traditionally the city has been a big part of future visions. And modernity. We were talking about bebop earlier. I'm falling asleep I think so I'll probably leave it for tomorrow.

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  14. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by sadmanbarty View Post
    The rounded off shake and rubbery texture of iPhone app icons. The apple logo itself.
    I was reading 'Prometheus rising' by Robert Anton Wilson this morning on the train and he's got a couple of pages where he's talking about 'oral imprinting' and the importance of the breast...

    here's a selection:

    "As Charles Darwin noted:

    'In our maturer years, when an object of vision is presented to us which bears any similitude to the form of the female bosom...we feel a general glow of delight which seems to
    influence all of our senses...'

    The ancients pictured the great mother goddess Diana of Ephesus with literally dozens of breasts and St. Paul reports hearing her worshippers chanting rapturously "Great is Diana!"

    There is virtually no great artist who has not left us a portrait, or many portraits, of the nude female form, especially the breasts; and even in non-human scenes, curves are introduced wherever possible. Architects break the Euclidean straight line to introduce such curves at the
    slightest pretext—arches, Moorish domes, etc. The curves of the suspension bridge are necessitated by Newton's laws ("Gravity's rainbow," in Pynchon's phrase) but, still, these double catenary curves are esthetically pleasing for the reasons Darwin suggests. As for music—where did we first hear it, who sang or hummed to us, and against what part of her body were we held? Mountain climbers are reduced, like Mallory, to saying "Because it's there," when trying to explain their compulsion to ascend those conic peaks. Our eating utensils (oral gratification tools) tend to be rounded or curved. Square plates or saucers look "campy" or strange. UFOs come in a variety of shapes, but the most popular are the oval and conic."

    Thought I'd throw that in.

    Also, I can't remember where I read it, but I remember someone saying something about the big Apple innovation being that they changed the colour from black to white ie electronic products had always been housed in black casing, as were the headphones. Apple made the future white??

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