The Arts of Energetics
Venue:Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Soros Auditorium
The concurrent crises of capitalism and ecology are driving the recent material (re)turn, but the Western philosophical discourses of materialism have an underlying division of matter and energy that have historically privileged the former, relegating energy to the immateriality of relations, duration and process. The histories of the arts have echoed this through discourses on objecthood, commodity value, perceptual dispositions privileging vision, and media conceived through tropes of engineering. An emphasis if not autonomy of the “moving materialism” of energy poses the possibility of a realignment to the conditions, if not the politics, of a survivable, dynamic homeostasis with the earth.
Douglas Kahn is Professor of Media and Innovation, and Australian Research Council Fellow, at the National Institute for Experimental Arts, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in Sydney. He is author or editor of Earth Sound Earth Signal: Energies and Earth Magnitude in the Arts (UC Press, 2013); Mainframe Experimentalism: Early Computing and the Foundations of the Digital Arts (UC Press, 2012); Source: Music of the Avant-garde, 1966–1973 (UC Press, 2011); Noise Water Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts (MIT Press, 1999); and Wireless Imagination: Sound, Radio and the Avant-garde (MIT Press, 1992).