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GIBCA • Florian Hecker
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Florian Hecker

Pandämonium 9 Playlist (2001) Stocha Acid Vlook (2001)

We can try to look at Pandämonium 9 Playlist (2001) through the lens of Speculative Solution (2011), and thus hear it as a series of »chronics«. In Speculative Solution the sound is neither a sonification of the accompanying texts and ideas, nor are these textualisations of the sonic elements of the publication. Here it seems crucial to insert a quotation from the introductory essay to the Speculative Solution publication¹ – This is This – by Robin Mackay: »What kind of thinking can sound occasion, what kind of spiritual exercise can it enable? ... In such moments the stratified systems that allow us to ›vertically‹ differentiate different temporal scales and ›horizontally‹ operate protentions and retentions that ›make sense‹ of sound, melt down into a ›pure chronics‹ that parallels Meillassoux’s hyperchaotic theory of time. But of course a ›sonification‹ of hyperchaos – a description, within a finite work, of what it would be to live in a hyperchaotic world – is impossible. To mime an ›extreme unpredictability‹ would be totally to miss the point: which is not to plunge the listener into a state of chaotic change, or total flux. Nor to expose them to the operations of chance. Chance, like change and stasis, can only ever be an infinitesimal quotation from hyperchaos, which, as Meillassoux is at pains to point out, can sustain apparently endless and stable periods of constancy as much as infinite periods of furious change. Hyperchaos cannot be a genre, style, state, or entity: it can only be an inhabiting of a moment neither quiet nor loud, harsh or gentle, chaotic or calm, organic or inorganic, ordered or disordered. To live the moment of hyperchaos it is necessary no longer to think in terms of necessary entities, but to orient oneself towards a necessity-without-entity.«

 Pandämonium 9 Playlist and Stocha Acid Vlook are hybrids that are equally fed from the Xenakian Dynamic Stochastic Synthesis or GENDYN ² for short – a »Music out of Nothing« as Peter Hoffman recently termed it – and a structuring, processing and editing approach to sound units that was conceived by the composer Trevor Wishart, in units which he calls »Wavesets« ³. The pieces clearly celebrate these techniques and are, to some extent, »improvements« on these tools which function as means of producing intensity. Here, I am more interested in the non- representational function of such a technique. What do we receive by hearing them? And despite all such (micro) references borrowed from the histories of post-war composition and psychophysical research, what is most important is to further poke the immediate, materialist and experiential character of auditory phenomena. What is the zone, the »phenomenological gap«, that opens up between the Dynamic Stochastic Synthesis and Wishart’s Wavesets? (The use of the above-mentioned tools also refers to these very elements of sonic research and production. The development of the GENDYN seems to me much more feral and »outside of music« . Similarly, outside of a pure institutional setting, one can find Wishart’s »sound metamorphosis« tools used in the Composer Desktop Project . However, I hope the tools function primarily outside a strictly referential context.) 

Can we speak here of a »multidirectional feedback« or use the notion of »dramatisation« rather than that of a trigger through theories? Such aesthetic experimentation can be seen against what Deleuze described as the method of »dramatisation«. A handy concept that yields potential in the further depiction of the multidirectional feedback spikes that are sent out between such a conceptual ping-pong that interweaves the above mentioned concepts featured in Pandämonium 9 Playlist and Stocha Acid Vlook. In fact, Deleuze states that it is within the different spatio-temporal properties – the creation of particular times and spaces – that concepts emerge; concepts that would otherwise not be able to form new articulations. It is this coexistence of double notions, one that is in line with »the philosophical past theory of primary and secondary qualities«, that makes »dramatisation« a useful tool, one that actualises –to use the proper Deleuzian term – and makes experientially and materialistically viable. An »idea« that might in fact grapple with the uncertainties of experientially contradictory phenomena, when looking at the »phenomenological gap«, a faultline within the traditional psychoacoustic categorisations of »auditory events«, »auditory objects« or »streams«. 

Florian Hecker, 2011 – in conversation with the curatorial team

Biography Born 1975 in Germany, lives and works in Germany. In his sound installations live performances and publications, Florian Hecker deals with specific compositional developments of post-war modernity, electro-acoustic music as well as other, non-musical disciplines. He dramatizes space, time and self-perception in his sonic works by isolating specific auditory events in their singularity, thus stretching the boundaries of their materialization. Solo exhibitions include MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2010), Chisenhale Gallery, London (2010) and Sadie Coles HQ London (2008).

Photo: Hendrik Zeitler