November 15th, 2017

Operative Ontologies: Notations as Orders of Performance Lecture by Ute Holl

Recording devices and techniques do not simply store or save phenomena, but fundamentally change possibilities of interacting with them. A tape recording for instance does not only save soundscapes, but also allows for different forms of cutting and mixing sonic environments and will eventually transform human hearing on a larger scale. Musical as well as other artistic notations, in evoking new sets of differences, thus implement — intentionally or not — new forms of perceiving, understanding and even being in the world. As such, they might qualify as “operative ontologies”. If these operations are technically, electronically or digitally processed, the term “order” might easily switch form the notion of “good organisation” to “command”. Performance then can either be perceived as a free concatenation of transformations or as the execution of a rule. On the whole, my talk will reconsider the implications of the media theoretical term “Aufschreibesysteme”, which has, and wisely so, been translated into the English as “discourse networks”. In its entanglements, the power of music and images returns in a different sense.