RE: electroacoustics - rap to tap

Subject: RE: electroacoustics - rap to tap
From: Paulo Mouat (
Date: Fri Jul 02 2004 - 18:53:25 EDT

John Nowak writes:
> > I was not implying anything of the sort -- in fact, just
> > the opposite,
> Curious... I don't see how your statement says that. Hm.

The point was that I certainly didn't say that "the sound's purpose is to be
musical". And my criticism of absolutes is indirectly saying that
musicality is relative and subjective.

> What are you talking about, Mr. Mouat?

I am saying that culture is the melting pot within and in relation to which
all creative activity takes place, and that it is simply unavoidable.

I do agree that it works both ways, but the influence of culture in art is
far stronger than you seem to be able to accept--it is, in fact, its
principal foundation. Since culture is always evolving, it is only natural
that it eventually integrates the end-product of creative activity, as a
materialization of a collection of ideas or intents. Culture is the
framework over which these breed; it then assimilates them in finished form
in the form of a work of art.

Art proceeds by both moments of affirmation and of negation. Even the most
"experimental" piece of art is ultimately based on culture (and is thus a
product of it) so that it can distance or refract itself from (accepted)
culture. If it wasn't so, then why qualify it as "experimental" and not
"regular" art?

You seem to be thinking of popular culture--your dismissal of culture-based
art as "bad" and your praise of "new" art are certainly indicative. I am
talking about culture as that which emerges from the organizational basis of
society and the individual within it as the bundle of ideas, norms and
artistic expressions, becoming the heritage and practice of 'intelligence'
and art. Popular culture, on the other hand, is mostly a
bottom-line-oriented fabrication (one might even say, in some circles, a
blatant form of domination) of the 'culture' industry.

The "culture" I am talking about is not the culture of a place or of a
community. It is the... for lack of a better term, experiential edifice
that enmeshes an individual in the world. Culture ultimately influences and
determines your interpretation of both the finished work of art and, more to
the point of our discussion, the value of the varied choices in the act of
creating art.

The above applies to the examples you gave, however far-fetched they might
be. Despite the fact that there is nothing intrinsically japanese in Masami
Akita's music or Detroit-esque in Derrick May's, that only says that their
culture was not wholly dependent on geography.

Indeed personality usually plays a major role in determining the
thought-processes of an artist, but what is personality but her complex of
behavioural and emotional characteristics, themselves a by-product of her
societal relations and upbringing?

And I too mostly deal with the "fringe" elements of art. It is far more


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