The Sound of Stability
No sound in the exhibition space, yet progress and rationalism always came with new sounds. “Artificial” sounds, as if this distinction would apply to sonic phenomena, to reverberations and frequencies.
The atomic fission was a blast, an overwhelming wave, your whole body would flutter. The total, unsurpassable, AV show, aesthetic expression and entertainment as byproducts of science experiments. All natures generate random aesthetics. Man-made natures are no different.
“Who could do anything better than this propeller? Could you do that?” Marcel Duchamp asks Brâncuși, admiring the airfoil- shaped blades of a plane while visiting the Paris Aviation Show of 1919.
The noise of the industrial era, shifting between the low, mid-low frequencies of the heavy industry (steel, metallurgical) to the mid-high, high palette of the textile factories; working women weaving in unison as in a rationalist mass choreography.
The humming in the sky that turns out to be a squadron of B-52 bombers.
Greasy steam-punk machines echoing inside the mega-structures of the analog production. The daft, monotonous resonances of the first automata. A continuous meta-sequence of irregular patterns, never the same, yet per ensemble always the same. Isn’t that a vulgar description of a modern society?
In the (recent) end, modernism proved it can function without a body.
The jack cable, used in telephone switchboards at the end of the 19th century. The click of the plug-in. A cascade of pre-digital clicks.
The plug-in jargon, output and input as “mother” and “father”, manipulated by women as first intermediaries (interface) of global communication (Plant).
The noise of stability (opposed to the noise conceptualized by M. Serres). The soundtrack of life-long jobs. The sonic remains of a now obsolete perimeter of meaning. The Deal, The New Deal, The Last Deal… No Deal. Workers of the world are not living in the same worlds. Globalism is displacement, pre- Stack (Bratton).
The production of metaphysics was kept in motion during modernism’s years of inner-critique. The marxist tradition mainly produced Solidarity as meta, while the capitalist think-tanks are still counting on the invisible algo-hand.
Space race should have contributed in replacing christian orthodoxy. “The Spirit” put on a plane of immanence. In the twentieth century, the Sputnik odyssey was very close to both smashing orthodox metaphysics and reconfiguring Byzantine imagery.
In the end, the moderns never really managed to replace the pre-modern meta. To substitute its function. And now, neo-regression, neo-reactionaries are upon us, deploying strange armamentarium, hybrid narratives. For too long, nobody asked them if they want to join the accelerationist train of modernity. Recurrently, along the line of progress and secularization, many communities from around the world have jumped off the train. Relying on parallel narratives, nowhere near the contemporary moral standards concerning human rights and other hard-fought equalitarian achievements. But using metaphysics that still “work”.
In the beginning of the 19th century the gothic was produced. In parallel with rationality – and its scientific and technological fruits – Frankenstein was conceived, a new abnormal was born, a spawn against “nature”. The inhuman related to the human, the aristocratic vampire, the zombie and other man-made (resurrected) monsters as irrational mirrors of the man disciplined by reason and its moral agent. No more gods, or god-like entities that are of a different ontology and dwelling in magic dimensions. But dead humans, the corpses of the living, mutated homo sapiens, living dead anomalies with no apparent intent or purpose. The gothic was modernity’s awareness of itself. The post-Kantian awakening.
The critical era fermented from its incipience horror-pop creatures immune to economic growth. But also indifferent to the proletarian struggle. The first signs of a pop culture, of a new primitive. The starting point of a transition from “folk” – traditional tales and regional entertainment rituals transmitted orally from one generation to the next – to a new breed of un-serious teratology with no direct genealogy to ancient or medieval mythologies, but rather embedded in modern anxiety, spreading beyond regional communities through technologies of the Gutenberg age.
Text: Ion Dumitrescu
|Exhibition||In the Natural Landscape the Human Is an Intruder|
|Place / venue||SABOT, Cluj-Napoca|
|Dates||March 30 - May 12, 2018|
|Index||Ion Dumitrescu SABOT Vlad Nancă|