‘Four Figures (low resolution) and a Technique of Extraction’, 2012
Commission from Nowiswere contemporary art magazine to contribute to their 10th anniversary issue.
‘Four Figures (low resolution) and a Technique of Extraction‘, is a piece that I wrote in response to sound artist Seth Ayyaz‘s Sonic Figures.
“In the case of the erasure of all that has been culturally designated as music (musicking being a particularly human endeavor, which also requires a cognising or cognisant listener for it to be categorized as such), what remains of the human and of human agency? What has been ‘designated (and regulated) as music’ may be the (human) figure, whose representation is similarly prohibited in Islamic aesthetics. If in the preparation for the piece, all documentation of the acts of making music have been scrubbed, are the sonic extractions, which act to smear the local field (recordings), figurative, or are they nonhuman? What is clear is that the sounds whether consciously heard or not, are local and do something locally. The scrubbed sections continue to perform, but not from a (transcendental) distance. The sounds act on, and with, various (non)human listening machines in real-time while at the same time informing, forming, and unforming future listening machines in the present. This process activates a different type of figure more akin to a temporal rather than spatial diagram – active listening, as a type of live diagramming process.”