19 February 2012

Circumscribing the Unspoken

From an interview with Scottish artist Robert Montgomery in the Independent:

"Normal people in the street are much more intelligent than society gives them credit for...

I want the words to appear almost like statements from the collective unconscious, in a sense. They are quite subtle ideas, and poetic ones; sometimes political points mixed with poetic allusions. The words can be complex, so I want them to look as straightforward as possible."


Robert Henke (aka Monolake) speaking to Fact mag about his new album, Ghosts:

"We humans are very, very odd constructions. We have the ability to think about ourselves; we are going to die, and we’re aware of this. Quite an evil construction, actually…we understand and can manipulate how we feel, we can enjoy our lives, we are able to give joy or suffering to other people, but we are still totally at the mercy of something that is absolutely beyond of our control: death. How to cope with this? Religion, mythologies, rituals, drugs, ghosts."

"Music, especially when purely instrumental, is a very ghostly form of art in itself. There is no explicit meaning, there is room for thoughts to wander. ... Music creates non-existing spaces and populates it with all sorts of magic objects. And, of course the creational process of computer-generated music itself is a very bodiless and ghostly experience, similar to the mysterious appearance of an image on photographic paper when exposed in the darkroom."


"LET US SPEAK, then, of the world from which human beings have disappeared.

It's a question of disappearance, not exhaustion, extinction or extermination. The exhaustion of resources, the extinction of species -- these are physical processes or natural phenomena.

And that's the whole difference. The human species is doubtless the only one to have invented a specific mode of disappearance that has nothing to do with Nature's law. Perhaps even an art of disappearance.

LET'S BEGIN WITH the disappearance of the real. [...]"

"...That world is perfectly objective since there is no one left to see it. Having become purely operational, it no longer has need of our representation. Indeed, there no longer is any possible representation of it. [...]"

"...There are those who play on their disappearance, make use of it as a living form, exploit it by excess, and there are those who are in a state of disappearance and who survive it by default. It is clear that the political scene, for example, merely reflects the shadows of a cave and the -- disembodied -- beings that move around in it, but do so quite unwittingly (it would take too long to list everything that has disappeared in this way -- institutions, values, individuals). It is, unfortunately, quite possible that we ourselves, as a species, already form part -- in the form of cloning, computerization and the networks, for example -- of this artificial survival, of this prolongation to perpetuity of something that has disappeared, but just keeps on and on disappearing. Whereas the whole art is to know how to disappear before dying and instead of dying."

-- Jean Baudrillard, Why Hasn't Everything Disappeared
(2007), .pdf version available here.

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