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Boring Formless Nonsense: Experimental Music and the Aesthetics of Failure

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  21 ratings  ·  1 review
"Boring Formless Nonsense" intervenes in an aesthetics of failure that has largely been delimited by the visual arts and its avant-garde legacies. It focuses on contemporary experimental composition in which failure rubs shoulders with the categories of chance, noise, and obscurity. In these works we hear failure anew. We hear boredom, formlessness, and nonsense in a way t ...more
ebook, 327 pages
Published February 1st 2013 by Bloomsbury Academic (first published January 1st 2013)
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Ruben Aguirre Barba
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Far from a smooth and easy read, broken narrative and self-referentiality. Brutally honest in its take of what, in most eyes, seems to be the endemic character of contemporary art. A fascinating account of the work's own demise.
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“Ubiquitous listening makes music virtually imperceptible, and any music is welcome. For so long as the semblance of vital activity that a music expresses satisfies a mood, musical sounds escape the capture of genre – the habts of form – and become instead an affective residue that thurifies the affairs of the occasion.” 2 likes
“The cessation of art is something that can only be accomplished when art disappears into its own excess. And that occasion, according to Baudrillard, has already happened. In fact, "art" disappeared a while back (When? Sometimes in the 70's, probably, when information technologies were electrified and became the dominant way in which Western cultures mediated its self-expressions), and its sublimations into the everyday order of simulation was overlooked. Too busy watching reruns of I dream of Jeannie or betwitched I suppose. What is called "art" now is itself a continuous rerun, a rerun of the image of its own disappearance. But said another way, which I'm sure some would rather it be said (though it makes no difference) art is everywhere one and the same with the image of the everyday, if not actually, then potentially. Under these circumstances, because art and the reality that is supposed to set off aesthetic properties have lost their operational difference, unmusic is everywhere Music is not. However, according to the logic of simulation, Music is everywhere so unmusic is nowhere. Yet being everywhere is the same as being nowhere, therefore Music is nowhere, which makes unmusic everywhere. But this is hyperreality and hyperreality trucks no difference between the real and the unreal (artifice), the musical and the unmusical. Thus unmusic eschews Adorno's dialectical impasse to the extent that it is total nonsense, a byproduct of the hyperreal that supervenes a discourse of contradictions and paradoxes where everything is coming up signs.” 1 likes
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