luka

Well-known member
Staff member
relinquish the earth-suit. no more Schuman the Human. show's cancelled people.

i know, and dont need reminding that the first recorded music is the first real break here.i know dematerialisation doesn't begin with the digital. i also know the digital doesnt begin in the '00s
and yet it seems reasonable to suggest we are in the process of acceleration.

it wouldnt be unusual for a human of 2018 to wake up, reach blearily for phone, scroll through
news feed, after shitting and showering return to phone over breakfast, stayed glued to phone
throughout commute, get to work, put down phone and sit IN FRONT OF A COMPUTER SCREEN
ALL DAY, phone over lunch, phone home, phone in bed before sleep.

not to mention socialising on whatsapp and orgasms with pornhub.

at that level of usage it is no exaggeration to say that SCREEN IS NOW PRIMARY ENVIRONMENT
and that, like in the phantom tollbooth, the world outside is disappearing. (the screen doesn't begin
with computers, the page is a screen. a painting is a screen. the screen always has a frame, is boundaried.)

i've mentioned how architecture is dematerialising

i suppose it blurs somewhat into the creation of and representation of purely digital spaces. and again i think this is where it's instructive to look towards architecture, which cant escape its physicality but looks to shed some of the more obvious signifiers of tactility and embodiment eg texture as it aspires to total dematerialisation. opaque glass. trespa. flat blocks of primary colour.

these buildings reflect their digitality in the same inescapable and crashingly obvious way
as computer music reflects its origins and the parameters of its creative programs.
and simon's recent article on autotune nudged me into making a whole thread about this process
https://pitchfork.com/features/article/how-auto-tune-revolutionized-the-sound-of-popular-music/

also worth linking to the autotune thread
http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=13199
and the vr building thread
http://www.dissensus.com/showthread.php?t=14196&highlight=architecture

it seems to me that once music making switched primarily to in-computer, and especially with the advent of autotune (and forgive me if this seems especially obvious/trite) sound no longer has a direct physical referent, and even the voice gets further and further away from the exigencies of breath of lung and tooth and tongue.

and it also makes intuitive sense that people who live their lives in a screen would require a kind of screen music. dematerialised tunes for dematerialised people. lusting after digital bodies. meeting in disembodied space.

i would never advocate any putting of the vehicle into reverse. we have the music of the past when we want physical referents. even something like dilla's dequantising (in the service of a fabricated organicism) seems retrograde. this is an area where i can happily be an accelerationist and want to see musicians lean into the process (not that they need any encouragement) and never look back
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
my good mate Jim was talking to me about becoming, in the nietzschean sense, this morning
and it reminded me that to a large degree, information exists outside of that process
is in a very real sense, outside of time. i've always maintained that is the magical aspect
of writing. that it happens and exists outside of time.

e.g.

Here we can operate Outside of Time.

Communicating across it and through it.

Here we can trace conspiracies and forge counter-conspiracies of our own. Plots to assassinate kings and unseat potentates, redraw maps and reassign values.
Remake experience.

Swallows chase tiny flies into evening and clouds settle.

AVOID TEMPTATION. HOLD TIGHT TO THESE TRUTHS.
WRITER you have chosen, pre-game, before the beginning of time before the incarnation as all choose. Do you remember the room-outside-of-time?



The WRITER has performed a ritual act of self-mutilation. His inability to act is the price paid for vision. It is a trade-off.
WORDS ACT.
ACT 1
What we say is. The page is a rogue space. It is an act of will. Made manifest within world without being subject to world laws. This is how the writer acts. OUTSIDE OF TIME AND SPACE.
Goetic trance.

(The chamber-outside-time.)

The chamber-outside-time is circular. The room is luxurious, opulent but not overbearingly so. A louche atmosphere. Faintly seedy. Intimate as a boudoir.
In the middle of the room is the vision-bowl.
-Wraith-like vapours rise from the vision-bowl.-
There are pillows and divans surrounding the vision-bowl. To look into the vision bowl is to become transfixed by its visions.
To become transfixed by the visions is to be incarnate. Within space-time.
If, by some act of ferocious will or magical force a person manages to tear his gaze from the vision-bowl he will find himself back in the chamber-outside-time.

Oh-ho! here again!
A sense almost of vertigo, rush of recognition and remembrance as the chamber takes shape around you
its contours becoming clearer, memories come into focus

hologram
within game
At limits of game space. Replicates itself.
Mirrors, srorriM
wraps around self.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
obviously the physical language is still operative. e.g. sudden, short, loud
still is on a spectrum of emphatic (fist banging on table, a sharp, forceful, blurted NO)
to violence (gunshot, shell exploding, elbow shattering nose bone)

but what is opened up? etc

going over the park now, get a bit of this last late sunshine before the depression cage closes.
see you later.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
This reminds me of the stuff we were discussing in that Wreck-It Ralph 2 thread a while back, you've got CG characters on screen who exist within screens in the world of the film as they're video game characters and they burrow even further by getting into the internet and interacting with characters from within other screens as well as referencing companies and products we interact with through screens irl.
 

blissblogger

Well-known member
left to their own devices

SCREEN IS NOW PRIMARY ENVIRONMENT


I've seen this play out with my own kids

When they were little, they were like kids always have been - primarily physical beings, interested in what they could touch and handle. They enjoyed rough and tumble games, playing with toys, building things, making a mess, and games of role play and imagination. Indoors and outdoors.

As soon as they got their hands on computers, tablets, and then later phones, it all shifted.

The sense was that all the action was happening indoors, and more than that, inside the world opened up by these machines. Minecraft, YouTube etc etc

You could drag them out on a hike, or involve them in some old skool type game - sport or board game or whatever, and they'd enjoy it. They would essentially revert to how they'd been pre-technology.

But left to their own devices... they turned to their devices.

What I noticed particularly with my son was that he didn't seem to have the same feeling for the exterior world that I had as a boy, growing up in a semi-rural bit of Hertfordshire with a lot of woods and common land that we'd roam.

He wouldn't look up at the sky, remark on the shape of clouds and so forth.

My daughter likewise - having once been quite sporty and into dancing - is likewise inclined to stay at home, curled up immobile with her phone, which is the gateway to all this stuff, pop videos, vlogs, YouTube challenges, etc.

She drags her heels about going on a walk in the glorious canyons of LA, and I think it's because she doesn't want to leave this screen world. She wants to get back to it ASAP.

Partly it's to do with adolescence and becoming introverted etc but i do think the allure of the screen world has stripped the exterior phenomenal world of its libidinal attraction.

When she visits with her cousin in Silverlake, who is slightly younger and unusually has no interest in phones etc, she reverts to a younger self and it is delightful to see her playing physical games, dressing up, noisily filling up real space with activity.

But most of the time, inside the screens, that's where it's at, for her.

As for myself, I do think of getting a smartphone as a personal catastrophe. I'd seen it with friends who'd come to dinner but couldn't stop themselves pulling out the phone to check Facebook or whatever. For a long time I was like, "I'm not going to be that guy". I had one of those flip-top, rudimentary phones for the longest time. Then my wife practically forced her old iPhone on me. A decision she has come to regret with each passing day!

I do think of the Internet etc as a cultural shift as massive as the invention of writing maybe.

One thing where it plays out is the effect on memory.

Because in any given day you are on a screen for nearly all of it - travelling this way and that across the infosphere - you can reach the end of the day and have very little recollection of what you did. Because you didn't really "do" anything, didn't "go" anywhere. All that time and information gathering or whatever just falls into a void.

Which is why I've occasionally found myself blogging, sometimes almost word for word, the same blog entry on one of my nonsense blogs like Hardly Baked that I did four or five years earlier, because it was similarly impulse-blogged in response to some video I'd stumbled on at YouTube. I stumble on it again and the same mental responses, amusement/bemusement are triggered. Thanks to the amnesiac effect of internet life I've completely forgotten that I blogged it before.

Perhaps that's why I'm getting a horrid feeling of deja vu - creeping suspicion that I have typed in thoughts similar to these at Dissensus before, on some earlier thread...

I do wonder what storehouse of great personal memories is not being built up, owing to these huge expanses of time I've spent on the Internet...

And what will my children's memories be of their youth when so much of it has been immaterial and interior?

But perhaps it's no different to me spending thousands of hours with my nose in a book as a kid.
 
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thirdform

Well-known member
the problem with autotune is that it is not cyborg enough. Zapp still sounds more radical at their best in that regard.
 

luka

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Staff member
the problem with autotune is that it is not cyborg enough. Zapp still sounds more radical at their best in that regard.
it think that makes it sound far more like the future-present though. cyborg is perhaps cooler sounding but the uncanny valley stuff is much more 2018. i think it's vastly more radical precisely because it doesn't depend on retro-cool. there's an ambiguity- am i drawn to this or am i utterly repelled and disturbed by it?
it's the queasiness of it.

and just to be clear this thread is not about like it/dont like it. like it/dont like it is rarely a good starting point for discussion. it doesnt go anywhere.

its about tracking the progress
of an event. something which is happening to reality and is affecting almost every sphere of human
endevour, not just music and architecture, but we're mostly a music forum so it's in the music thread with a focus on music. it's probably the easiest way for us to think through it a bit.
 
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luka

Well-known member
Staff member
there's also a whole gamut of emotions or complexes of emotions that i think are peculiar to the internet and digitalisation and i think autotune is expressive of those things in a way vocoder can't be.
barty said his favourite bit in the reynolds article was the bit about it sounding like cher's face looks and i agree. that's a good example of the uncanny valley. or the instagram filters, or the japanese photobooths which preceded and inspired the filters-the smoothing of the skin, the enlarging of the eyes etc etc (and which people now get injections, surgery etc to replicate)
 
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luka

Well-known member
Staff member
And what will my children's memories be of their youth when so much of it has been immaterial and interior?
But perhaps it's no different to me spending thousands of hours with my nose in a book as a kid.
this is perhaps all contingent on avoiding environmental collapse and maintaining (or increasing) current energy supply levels but i would assume/hope that there are skills being developed in terms of moving in an information realm that will be more important to them in the future than learning how to be good at hackey sack.

you sort of have to assume it is preparation for a world currently in gestation.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
it think that makes it sound far more like the future-present though. cyborg is perhaps cooler sounding but the uncanny valley stuff is much more 2018. i think it's vastly more radical precisely because it doesn't depend on retro-cool. there's an ambiguity- am i drawn to this or am i utterly repelled and disturbed by it?
it's the queasiness of it.

and just to be clear this thread is not about like it/dont like it. like it/dont like it is rarely a good starting point for discussion. it doesnt go anywhere.

its about tracking the progress
of an event. something which is happening to reality and is affecting almost every sphere of human
endevour, not just music and architecture, but we're mostly a music forum so it's in the music thread with a focus on music. it's probably the easiest way for us to think through it a bit.

I'm not repelled by it, i just find it boring. the internet isn't really anything new it's just spectacle surveillance technology. at least on internet 1.0 there was an anonimity, a desire to go beyond the classifications of this putrified society. internet 2.0 has reinstated the family in all of its forms, classic bourgeois nuclear or postmodern otherwise. there is nothing good about social networking, it's a tyranny of familiarity, not a disconnect with nature.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
this is why the late k-punk was wrong imo, there was an alternative to capitalist realism. but that alternative was spectacle, the possible, the pragmatic.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
ok. i guess that's the end of the discussion. the internet is nothing new. digitalisation hasn't happened. dematerialisation is a figment of my imagination. i've got a dvd to watch anyway.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
ok. i guess that's the end of the discussion. the internet is nothing new. digitalisation hasn't happened. dematerialisation is a figment of my imagination. i've got a dvd to watch anyway.
Sure digitalisation has happened. But it never lived up to its utopian promises. it regressed back to old conservative forms.
 

blissblogger

Well-known member
There a lot more subtleties and nuances possible with Auto-Tune and Melodyne than there were with vocoder. You might be fatigued justifably through the over-exposure of the effect, but if you actually listen closely to a master of working with the technology e.g. Quavo there's a myriad ways of inflecting it

Vocoder is "man-machine", robotic, i.e. less than human

Auto-Tune is supra-human, hyper-soul

Zapp used a talk box which is something else altogether - works in a different way from either vocoder or Auto-Tune. The instrumental signal is sent into the mouth by the tube, and the mouth works as a resonant chamber, an amplifier effectively, and then sent down the vocal microphone. So that you end up (with Roger Troutman, Frampton etc) with that "is it a guitar or is it a voice? it's both!" sound.

But i think that's why talk box is so expressive and nuanced, it's because you've got all the intricacy of guitar playing (Troutman was a very skilled if not necessarily innovative guitarist), the note bending and Isley Brothers-ish addle-daddle, then that's being reshaped in the mouth as well, so it's proper musical, in a way that makes vocoder seem quite lumbering and crude by comparison.

I should imagine - not ever having played guitar or anything - that the mouth operates on the guitar signal almost like a second hand, further inflecting it.

I interviewed Troutman once and he said the tube got pretty smelly with saliva!

First guy who used it was actually a country musician in the Sixties, i forget his name.
 
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blissblogger

Well-known member
it regressed back to old conservative forms.
I don't think Luka is really addressing the contents of digiculture, how people use it ... it's more about the phenomenology of digital life.

Medium, rather than the messages, as it were.

Our whole sense of time, space, intimacy, identity, it's all been shaken and rearranged.

Things like being lost in a city, or being incommunicado, or anticipation / waiting for something, arranging a rendez-vous ... these are fundamentally altered in the new way of living life. Certain commonplace experiences of pre-internet life are on the way out.

But let's talk about internet porn!
 
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