Sunday, 29 September 2013

Four merge into one, one splits into itself and the the void

Trying to get an aerial view of our project, I asked myself: What are the real properties of "Base"?
If we take it out of the box of identities, conditioning our perception- context, image of the author, name, gender, background, producer/consumer networks on Soundcloud, behaviour patterns, levels of activity and presence on Soundcloud as a social platform- what remains is pure sound, and then nothing is real except feeling. We can never disengage from narrativity, which is independent of tellability, but once again, with sound, as with non-objective art, the signifier/signified relationship works on the level of feeling rather than representation. We hear what everyone hears and we think what no-one has thought within the frame of the narrative. " It's amazing how sine tones, just before they turn into alarms, transform and dissolve into the whole. Drifting away, being washed away. A sweeping movement in sound-space. A feeling of pain followed by relief, spiced with melancholy." ( A listener's comment, my translation. Made after the title "Black Square" was added in the description.)

When authorship is ambiguous like in our case- it is four different people who claim it- each individual self gets obscured and each participant's ego demands become threatened by doubts of the listener and by frailty and transience of the work: literally so, the track was making its four days' transit over our Soundcloud accounts, remaining hidden for the following four days. Like that rogue planet Melancholia in Lars von Trier's film, hidden behind the Sun and then blocking Antares from view on a collision course with Earth, the track made the four corners of the black square fall upon its empty centre. I am referring to Animans and the four of us, not so much to the title with its associations with the iconic painting of Malevich.

"I arrived at where I started from: nothing. Nothingness is too much for you, Jack",- says the main female character of the film to her employer, harassing her on her wedding party about an unfinished tagline.
When nothingness becomes too much, we start longing back to our identity box, that threatens to swallow us under the pretext of branding- positioning on the market in a unique and different way with help of logo, name, slogan, character, mascot- anything that creates positive associations in potential customers' minds. Instead of crawling back, we can choose to re-design the box and turn it into a black box. Blackboxxx is in the cloud, connectivity of our networks is provided by a seamless flow, and opaqueness allows us to be ourselves. Who is the author of the track is going to remain a mystery.

Black square is not a denial of everything good and pure, it is not a dark prophecy of trouble to come, not a fear of the future, but a rejection of the secure past. We don't profit from yesterday's growth and we celebrate our victory over the Sun for a future world without objects, in which considerations of fame and prosperity are less relevant.

Melancholia 1

I'm dying at the bottom of a pit in the blazing sun

in Wild World with a female octopus named Marina

The small plane is normally not used for people

to float freely and experience weightlessness

Mystery horror woman who visited Cedar Sinai Hospital in 1972

Embrace Despair for free

A Living Stream in the Desert!

How the Christian faith will be a subversive

—and liberating—influence

away from her

(The universe went through an episode dominated by a different form of dark )

Melancholia 2

Somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell...

Octopuses have a relatively short life expectancy

and some species live for as little as six months

The wings of a fixed-wing aircraft are not necessarily rigid

A woman in white gown shows up

Objects not in contact with other objects "float" freely

The only problem is that she was soaked in blood.


We must embrace our awesome freedom

The decision, abandonment in making it alone, and despair when it backfires

Turn to it daily, tune out the clamor of living!

Gravitational attraction pulls galaxies towards each other to form groups

Stars burn out, stars cease to be created, and the universe goes dark...

Melancholia 3

The last thing I see is my heart. Still beating

The white lady grabbed the neck of one of the boys

There are no muscles in fingers and thumbs

Note that! Because the object is floating

Larger species, such as the giant pacific octopus

(if she finds that only its sides have been stained with blood

since all of us share the same situation)

do a good turn daily.

This is the slogan of the Boy Scouts

Communities usually avoid each other and are aggressive towards outsiders

Humans are an exception in that we form a variety of social group patterns

Is it true that all the stars we can see in the sky are so far away that they are all actually burned out

and that we are just seeing their glow?

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Irreducible Two

Irreducible two.

1. Kamikuma plays Animans, Initiation, while watching videos with Zizek and Dolar.

"One divides into two, two doesn't merge into one" is an old maoist slogan not many people recognize today. Antagonism between the classes, inherent in the capitalist system , unavoidably leads to class struggle and cannot be reconciled within the existing system. The reconciliation is only possible in a new order, in a synthesis different from the initial One.
Why I am referring to that slogan, which is also the topic of the conference I am watching, when my intention is to discuss the album, is understandable: I think the album is a celebration of the split.

01- Bubotu Cotumbo-A March Song of The Furniture Army
02 & 03- Bubotu Cotumbo- A March Song of The Furniture Army & Maggie Ledes- And Away They Went with Their Senses

2. Kamikuma discovers God, but he doesn't exist.

Hegelian triad of thesis-antithesis- synthesis, summing up what I said so far, can be replaced by " being- nothingness- becoming" , nothingness or the void as the source of movement. When things are pushed closer to the void or virtuality, a becoming is about to take place. Very incorrect to use Deleusian terminology here, as his concept of virtuality never leaves the material plane, while Hegel being an idealist reaches out to God in his statement that the universe is incomplete, but somehow I feel that it's legitimate, as I imagine that universal force called God as feminine, it is not a father-figure, a master, but a mother hiding somewhere among the ordinary things. Nature as mother or Mother-nature...The umbilical cord is severed, but we need a re-link (religio). Nature comes first as Hegel himself would certainly agree.

How two bodies can become one is a mystery that belongs to God. I heard about it at a wedding ceremony in the orthodox church. God doesn't exist, but he rules. By analogy, how two elements are united in perfect harmony in a work of art is a mystery that belongs to the artist. The author of the album I am discussing here withdraws into a role of consumer, granting the priviledge of judgement and acting upon it to the users and the listeners. It will become clear, if you take a closer look. I cannot find a better expression of it than that of Boris Groys: "The artist's insight has become 'disembodied' and all-consuming: it is an insight that can always be 'embodied' again, as often as anyone has the desire to reconstruct the processes that the artist has revealed". ( From the essay The Artist as Consumer)

The gap is in the substance, there is an unrest or disquiet in all being, expressing itself as potentiality of war or madness. Hegel is often criticised for negativity, but actually his negations ( and the album is full of them: anti-music, anti-rhythm) lead to a new positivity by pushing the limits of the thing negated. Anti-music is not the same as not music. And anti- is not only a marker of the alternative, standing ouside of the music market, of DIY aesthetics and cooperative spirit of punk, noise, no-fi, discordant sound. It is also an affirmation of music that misbehaves, acting like a clinamen, a singularity of space.

04&05- Bubotu Cotumbo- The Walkaboots & Maggie Ledes- And Away They Went with Their Senses

3. Kamikuma gets lobotomised.

The problems I experienced with some tracks of Initiation ( which made it a very traumatic passage) were not on the level of time-form, but on that of a musical gesture. It just didn't make sense to me what the combined tracks were doing there in relation to each other- I found none, and when the mind in its attempt of finding a relation fails, it runs into irreducibility of the two . It's Lacanian antinomy of One that splits into itself and the void or the Other ( One already posterior to a split). This is exactly how the songs of Initiation are made- each splits into itself and the x, then a new cut is made and again a split into itself and the x, occupied by the Other. They don't merge into one, but remain two separate lego pieces: so the gap is maintained and I had to find an abstract midpoint in my mind, creating an oscillation between the tracks and finally a new parallax mode of listening.

06 & 07- Maggie Ledes- And Away They Went with Their Senses & Kamikuma- Knas VH
08 & 09- Kamikuma- Knas VH & Half Digested Taco- HV Sank
10 & 11- Bubotu Cotumbo- A March Song of The Furniture Army & Kamikuma- Knas VH

4. Kamikuma's new theory of gender.

I find the support and explanation of my reaction in Lacan's classical "il n'y a pas de rapport sexuel- there is no sexual relationship,...the woman doesn't exist", provoking the anger of feminists, but none the less making me believe in love and in Lacan as well as Hegel as philosophers of love ( It was Zizek who pointed at that), because through the experience of love you have to meet the otherness in yourself - it is something that shatters you out of your own existence. Probably in a woman that otherness occupies the first place, I understand it as universality in relation to a masculine particularity, the conflict of the opposites as a conflict between the universal and the particular within the self, and identity emerging in the gap, depending on where the split takes place.

12 & 13- Bubotu Cotumbo- A March Song of The Furniture Army & Half Digested Taco- A Wind Song of The Furniture Army.
14 & 15- Bubotu Cotumbo- A Shepherding Process & Half Digested Taco- A Wind Song of The Furniture Army.

5. Kamikuma gets tired of transcendence and asks Deleuze to come and rescue her. ***

Speaking about the mysterious unity we experience through art, it's difficult to avoid mentioning Kandinsky. There is an indirect reference to his black and white in one song- Deaf White Blind Black. The axiom of 'two doesn't merge into one' or impossibilty of returning to one after the cut is made- that irreducibility of the two- works extremely well in art as we saw it, because art is as obscure as the unconscious and in art an opening to a spiritual dimension allows for transcendence of the experience, it takes the viewer to a higher level , where a synthesis makes sense. Now Beuys has to be mentioned as well. I am more comfortable with immanence, so I would prefer calling it connecting to a flow of forces and intensities .( The same mistake again.)

Kandinsky elaborates a system of correspondences between colour and geometrical shape in his theoretical work 'On Spiritual in Art- it serves as a trampoline, allowing him to make a jump into unknown, and relying on his model, he starts eliminating all the hinders. His "Blue Rider", marking a gradual shift to abstract painting is already a patchwork of colour the viewer can enter and then synthesise. In his later works, he separates colour and shape , opening up even more, and in the black and white paintings he only relies on shape, bringing things to their closure or death or silence of a body, which is the meaning of his black. White is all colour, only unmanifested. Colours entering those black and whites in a viewer's perception seem to come from nowhere, it's ephemere like music.

16 & 17- Maggie Ledes- Societal Resistance & Half Digested Taco- A Wind Song of The Furniture Army
18 & 19- Kamikuma- Yes Happy & Half Digested Taco- A Wind Song of The Furniture Army
20 & 21- Kamikuma- Yes Happy & Bubotu Cotumbo- Deaf White Blind Black

6. Chalk and butter.

What I am describing is a process of initiation with its stages of separation, transition and incorporation in a new order. In other terms it can be called a becoming, like in 'becoming animal' . I already mentioned Beuys and his famous performance. The very first link is in the title: Animans -the word animan (animal-human). In his 'I Like America and America Likes me' he symbolically re-enacts his life experience during the war, when his plane was shot down over the Crimea and he was saved by nomads who smeared his body with wax and fat and wrapped in felt. Beuys gets transported to the place of the performance in the ambulance, covered in grey felt (grey felt is also a depression), and spends several days sharing the room with a wild coyote, using the felt as the only protection. Through this encounter with the other he comes to terms with his past trauma and undergoes a shamanic transformation.
A wound cannot be healed through reconciliation of the opposites by simply patching up the gap, only through acknowledging it and letting the ever changing force of nature nurture you. The symbolic value of organic materials like butter and fat as life-saving substances is that of a healing power of nature Beuys strongly believed in. In another work, Wirtschaftswerte ('Economic Values'), he used a block of plaster that had been in his studio for a long time and was full of 'scars'. To correct them he put butter on it and then it got slowly absorbed by the chalk.

22 & 23- Kamikuma- Yes Happy & Maggie Ledes- In Accordance With the Prophecy
24 & 25- Half Digested Taco- Maybe (Bogo 1000 Remix) & Maggie Ledes- In Accordance With the Prophecy
26 & 27-Half Digested Taco- Maybe (Bogo 1000 Remix) & Kamikuma- Dry Wheat

7. The Unconscious is structured like the language.

Animan ( animal/ human) looks like a slip of the tongue. ( There was another one, more Freudian, forniture, corrected in the final version). Usually it's the unconscious breaking in through the cracks in the language manifesting as slips and other distortions. It was one of the reasons of bringing Lacan here.
Sound and language intersect in the split, I am both listening and reading the album and the art work as a text. The concept of the project or a model on which it is build is programmed for deviation. As a cooperative effort it is not vaccinated against mishaps and glitches: it could go wrong -Hegelian totality that includes failure.

28 & 29- Bubotu Cotumbo- A Matchmantra for The Animansarmy & Kamikuma- Dry Wheat
30- Bubotu Cotumbo- A Matchmantra for the Animansarmy

The maker of the project is a (sound) painter, calling himself Bubotu Cotumbo, located not far from the town of Trieste, but not very close either( ya or nay on the same continent) playing (junk, broken instruments,...) with amazing presence and sensitivity located on a totally different from us continent or not located there due to summer re-location, called Maggie Ledes (MergFromMemphis), with amazing presence somewhere in France, Half Digested Taco and sensitivity, a (sound)painter- maybe not always of France, playing kamikuma of the North (of north-eastern ghettos of Gothenburg playing sound or not playing).

More about the participants:

Deleusian (Foucauldian) fold of ANIMANS's album- new kind of subjectivity (exterior made interior) produced as the result of a collective practice:
figure 1, figure 2

1 HDT.............K; 2 LISTENER X..........LISTENER Y

ML..............BC; LISTENER Z..........BC (HDT, K, ML)

figure 1- a double fold of a square (horizontal - HDT to ML, K to BC+ vertical - HDT to K, ML to BC; diagonal left - HDT to BC+ diagonal right - K to ML); figure 2- a new double fold.
Can be continued ad infinitum, new listeners/users in the corners, contributing or not contributing with own material.
No doubts are left to whose art work this is.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Spiritual Telegraph presentation

The project Spiritual Telegraph was presented at RESONANS 2013,
a mini festival for sound art and electro-acoustic music, arranged by Kluster in collaboration with musikhögskolan i Piteå, Ljudkonst/Ljuddesignkursen, och Kraftcentrum för ny musik.

More about the festival and the sound art/ sound design course here:

The final version of the video
was playing along with a tape recorded during the skype session at the Amateur Theatre in Sollefteå on 24th February.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

spiritual telegraph part 4

The presentation of the current project, Spiritual Telegraph, is coming up soon at Kluster, Pitea, in a mini festival for experimental, contemporary music and sound art, Resonans :

Sunday, 24 February 2013

spiritual telegraph part 3

The video contains a new section with images from the mirror lounge at the theatre. The sound is processed material from the analogue recordings during the skype session. Something like morze messages can be heard there- I attempted a translation :


TTH N A H ? N C ? ? T L A I Z M N R V T ? N ? D

Making no sense and I probably gave up too soon.

Colours of noise.

White noise is like white light, all the colours are there. Pure , uncontaminated white noise, where all frequencies are given equal power, is rarely found. In the same way, pure randomness hardly exists.

Translation key:

1 white, 2 pink, 3 red, 4 blue, 5 purple and 6 gray noise.

1 bijela, 2 ružičasta, 3 crvena, 4 plava, 5 ljubičasta i 6 siva.

White noise is a random signal with a flat (constant) power spectral density. In other words, a signal that contains equal power within any frequency band with a fixed width.
White noise draws its name from white light, which is commonly (if incorrectly) assumed to have a flat power spectral density over the visible band.
The term is sometimes used in non technical contexts, in the metaphoric sense of "random talk without meaningful contents".

The use of an FM radio tuned to unused frequencies ("static") is a simpler and more cost-effective source of white noise. However, white noise generated from a common commercial radio receiver tuned to an unused frequency is extremely vulnerable to being contaminated with spurious signals, such as adjacent radio stations, harmonics from non-adjacent radio stations, electrical equipment in the vicinity of the receiving antenna causing interference, or even atmospheric events such as solar flares and especially lightning.

Pink noise or 1/f noise (sometimes also called flicker noise) is a signal or process with a frequency spectrum such that the power spectral density (energy or power per Hz) is inversely proportional to the frequency. In pink noise, each octave carries an equal amount of noise power. The name arises from the pink appearance of visible light with this power spectrum.

In science, Brownian noise, also known as Brown noise or red noise, is the kind of signal noise produced by Brownian motion, hence its alternative name of random walk noise. The term "Brown noise" comes not from the color, but after Robert Brown, the discoverer of Brownian motion.
The graphic representation of the sound signal mimics a Brownian pattern. Its spectral density is inversely proportional to f², meaning it has more energy at lower frequencies, even more so than pink noise. It decreases in power by 6 dB per octave (20 dB per decade) and, when heard, has a "damped" or "soft" quality compared to white and pink noise. The sound is a low roar resembling a waterfall or heavy rainfall. See also purple noise, which is a 6 dB increase per octave.

Violet noise
Violet spectrum (+6 dB/octave)
Violet noise is also called purple noise. Violet noise's power density increases 6 dB per octave with increasing frequency(density proportional to f 2) over a finite frequency range. It is also known as differentiated white noise, due to its being the result of the differentiation of a white noise signal

Grey noise
Grey spectrum
Grey noise is random white noise subjected to a psychoacoustic equal loudness curve (such as an inverted A-weighting curve) over a given range of frequencies, giving the listener the perception that it is equally loud at all frequencies. This is in contrast to standard white noise which has equal strength over a linear scale of frequencies but is not perceived as being equally loud due to biases in the human equal-loudness contour.

(Wikipedia article)

I was unable to travel to the site of the project Spiritual Telegraph in Sollefteå. Instead, in the early hours of 24th February a skype session was carried out- Björn Eriksson was recording there. After the presentation and contact request a carrier wave was emitted from an analogue signal generator and radio between the stations. The same kind of sounds as in the previous, digital recordings registered. I have no access to the tape yet, but just got a digitalisation to listen through on headphones.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

micro nasties

12 seconds is enough for making a decision- here comes a collaboration album, the starting point of which was a temporal constraint. Micro gestures, both individual and joined, coming from the sound artists with different styles (Kamikuma's naive, simplistic punk baroque, on annoyingly distorted piano, and Bubotu Cotumbo's organic primitivism, noisey, but subliminally beautiful,making me think of Derek Bailey), are put together with a help of a poetic narrative. Their order is not always musically logical and definitely non-narrative, desperately seeking unity and failing every time.
To fully perceive the split i recommend headphones, it is a two channel mix.

More sounds from BBT here :

Please, take time to visit dogs can read your mind blog, where the album is published as well