Tuesday, July 22, 2008

DJ Spooky and Rhythm Science

Jerome passed along this cool lecture by DJ Spooky aka Paul D. Miller giving a lecture at the European Graduate School about technology, music, video, and his work - a database remix expanding our notions of time and space.

Paul D. Miller also known as DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, delivers a manifesto for rhythm science-- the creation of art from the flow of patterns in sound and culture, "the changing same." Taking the Dj's mix as template, he describes how the artist, navigating the innumerable ways to arrange the mix of cultural ideas and objects that bombard us, uses technology and art to create something new and expressive and endlessly variable.

Technology provides the method and model; information on the web, like the elements of a mix, doesn't stay in one place. And technology is the medium, bridging the artist's consciousness and the outside world. Miller constructed his Dj Spooky persona ("spooky" from the eerie sounds of hip-hop, techno, ambient, and the other music that he plays) as a conceptual art project, but then came to see it as the opportunity for "coding a generative syntax for new languages of creativity."

For example: "Start with the inspiration of George Herriman's Krazy Kat comic strip. Make a track invoking his absurd landscapes...

What do tons and tons of air pressure moving in the atmosphere sound like? Make music that acts a metaphor for that kind of immersion or density."

Or, for an online "remix" of two works by Marcel Duchamp: "I took a lot of his material written on music and flipped it into a DJ mix of his visual material -- with him rhyming!"

Tracing the genealogy of rhythm science, Miller cites sources and influences as varied as Ralph Waldo Emerson ("all minds quote"), Grandmaster Flash, W. E. B Dubois, James Joyce, and Eminem.

You can see his entire lecture + many others including: Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, John Perry Barlow, Victor Burgin, Judith Butler, Sophie Calle, Hélène Cixous, David Cronenberg, Michel Deguy, Manuel DeLanda, Atom Egoyan, Tracey Emin, Peter Greenaway, Donna Haraway, Michael Hardt, Michel Houellebecq, Jean-Luc Nancy, Quay Brothers, Bruce Sterling, Paul Virilio, John Waters, Slavoj Zizek,Jean-François Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard,and Jacques Derrida. Check out the European Graduate School Collection here.

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