- By Luke Robert Mason
- January 31, 2013
- Type: Blog
The CTM Festival for Adventurous Music and Art have invited Virtual Futures to revive their 1995 panel ‘Future Music’ as part of their ‘Death of Rave’ Discourse Track on Friday 1st February at KUNSTQUARTIER STUDIO 1 Mariannenplatz 2 10997 Berlin.
The panel will see Christoph Fringeli (Praxis Records, Datacide), Tony Marcus (i-D.) and Dan O’Hara (Philosopher of Technology) reunite for the first time in over 18 years to contextualise their VF 1995 panel which made the claim that,
“The machinic phylum has been re-coding our minds & bodies through the most violent contortions since analogue synthesizers first colonized the imaginal soundscape. Electronic music is the teacher, to warp Juan Atkins’ phrase; techno in its many hybrid forms is training humans to navigate the machinic future. Nevertheless, those who are the ostensible ‘producers’ of these post-human soundtracks are no longer the progeny of major record labels bent on global domination, but instead are truly integrated into the anonymity of white label culture. These young autonomous individuals are at the forefront of technological phase-change: here we present an opportunity for the uninitiated to witness the interaction between the human & the machine that supports & creates these virtual soundscapes.”
Chaired by the artistic director of Virtual Futures 2011, Luke Robert Mason, the 2013 panel will analyse,
“The cybercultural narratives of the mid-90s provided a social, artistic, and philosophical framework to understand and challenge the rapid advances in the development of information communication technologies. Driven by a need to critique the framework underlying society’s newfound anticipation for the future, the Virtual Futures Conference held at the University of Warwick 1994–1996 brought together groups of renegade philosophers to lock horns with the future based on the provocations of evidence provided by the emergence of the Internet. At the time, the conference was affected by a turbulent dynamic between technological acceptance versus a largely paranoid technophobia. Fast-forward to 2013, and this has flat-lined to find the 21st century human docile to the widespread ubiquity of information processing technologies.
Meanwhile, human agency has been subsumed by an increasing automation by non-human agents, as control over identity, society, and economics is relinquished to biases of robotic processes. Techno-evangelism attempts to brand, market, and, most importantly, sell the wonderment afforded by a wilful obedience to the future. They resound with the same transcendentalist fantasies of cyberpunk fiction – indeed speculation and futuristic thinking has become an art, and like any popularist art form, it has become an industry.
Revisiting 1995’s Future Music panel, Virtual Futures will explore the implications of a new ecology – where music is no longer made but grown, thus demonstrating a quality of artificial life. In 2013 music doesn’t go viral, it is viral. And all the while we are left to question who, or what, is listening?” Read More…