Re: Solo ea

Subject: Re: Solo ea
From: Eliot Handelman (
Date: Tue Feb 08 2005 - 22:32:08 EST

Kevin Austin wrote:

> In my reading I have noted the lack of commentary on much ea art as
> being solo in nature, when compared to traditional musics / (sound
> arts). A string quartet requires 4 or 5 people (if the composer is not
> one of the performers), and choral / orchestral works call together
> many people (at the last stages of the composition > performance
> structure).
> This could be compared to the ea (sound art) composer where the
> assistance occurs before the piece is completed (equipment, hardware
> and software), but then almost all phases of composition /
> presentation are the responsibility of the single person. (Exceptions
> being cases such as the old european model of the composer in the
> studio with technicians / assistants.)
> To what extent does this "front-loading" of the compositional process
> have an effect on what the composer does (or can do)?

Are you asking -- "is ea really a solo art in any essential way?" ie --
how does the fact that ea is solo affect the artiostic status of
this work? To its advantage? To its detriument?

Personally, I feel the effect is mpostly detrimental. It often creates
the great composer syndrome. Whereas
my feeling and wish is for somethingh "post-human": and ecertainly
post-indivudual -- in the sense of indivduslaism as
a kind of romantic byronic fantasy, un-pre-deconsytructed.

I played some ea for a vizart friend and she commented "oh this is like
someone at the helm, controlling all of this
power." In this case the soloistic aspect of the piece trumped her into
the feeling that a sort of self-presentation (at least via
authorship) lay at the heart of these withering sounds , in such a way
as to ruin the kind of experiemnce Kevin
would endorse.

To post-humanize is to compleyte;ly free the music of indivisual purpose,
creating music via indefinite self-determination -- eg, algorithmically,
chance operations,
group improv, machine improv, interactive whatnot, or, in Cardiff's
ccxase, ceding the role of composer
(she was eminently in position to do so). A sense of the interaction of
persons, or of things, rather than a presentation
of the will of the individual.

The question is, does this challenge ea's identity as do-it-yourself?
Akousma suggested that, rthough not
very radically.

It's certainly a tough conceptual issue, the soluytions being in the
forms of artworks that realize
or negotiate both dimesnsions of the potential in indiv/ph.

justr my opinion, of course.

-- eliot

> Best
> Kevin

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