Sounding the Counterfactual: Hyperstition and Audial Futurities
Stream organizers: David Cecchetto, Marc Couroux, eldritch Priest
London Conference in Critical Thought, June 27-8, Goldsmiths, University of London.
That sound and affect are fatally entangled should be obvious, for they share a primordial relation to a zone of indetermination between unconscious bodily impingements and their selective, conscious actualization. This is further suggested by the way sound’s im-mediacy and hearing’s continuous intake figure audition as a amenability to influenza of various forms that nudge virtual potentials towards predetermined outcomes. For contemporary cybercapitalist power, sound’s affective/infective nature plays a key role in ratifying its need to preserve homeostasis through a negative feedback that holds matter and information as equal realities. According to Anahid Kassabian, in a world of ubiquitous, networked technologies, music and sound are crucial vectors across which distributed-informatic subjectivities are constituted, a position advanced by the third wave of cybernetics wherein machinic, mediatic, and prosthetic ecologies have become indissociable from biological processes. Indeed, within this human/non-human commingling control operates virtually, nested within affective states that “unfold the past into the present” and inflect “the way the present acts on the past to unravel a new future.”
Hyperstition, a term coined by the Ccru (Cybernetic Culture Research Unit) and most often attributed to its chief ideologue Nick Land, is a useful point of intervention within a system that suppresses contingency, futurity. According to Land, “hyperstitions by their very existence as ideas function causally to bring about their own reality…transmuting fictions into truths.” Such a formulation is exemplified by finance capitalism’s investment in fictional entities such as futures and derivatives to compose an abstract but no less real dimension of profit. However, the manner in which the power of the virtual has been exploited by inhumanist capital to bring about the reality of a speculative profit—as in branding’s sorcerous implantation of false memories and future desires, which rewire the very notion of lived experience—points to the promise of hyperstition as producing counterfactual lines of actualization that compel the world to unaffordable futures.
How might sound (noise = rumore (It.) = rumor), the virological, immanent medium par excellence—acoustic space as networked space—be productively leveraged for its capacities to induce, bend, and channel affective potential? How might the effective powers of fiction be sonically enacted? How might spatial redistributions of mobile electronic sound galvanize emergent social and political structures?
PANEL 1—Friday June 27, 11:30-13:00 (Richard Hoggart Building 2.107)
Lendl Barcelos—Anethics of Aural Ambiguity
Eleni Ikoniadou—Abstract Audio
eldritch Priest—Upstream Color; Downstream Habits
PANEL 2—Saturday June 28, 16:45-18:15 (Richard Hoggart Building 356)
David Cecchetto—Hyperstitional Algorithms, capital and sounding art
Charlie Blake & Isabella Van Elferen—The Return of the Überthing: Sonic Spectrality, Affective Engineering & Temporal Paradox
Joey Ryken—Asymmetrical warfare in Sound, Magic and Humour: Psycho-sonic parody, slap‐stick, neuroaesthetics, and supra‐sensory chicanery
FRIDAY JUNE 27, 20h—1h
Modulating between the abstract/(in)aesthetic through the rhythmic/4-to-the-floor and back again, Transmètic is a night of schizo-disciplinary interchange. A hyperstitional continuum of technofuturist outliers—a heresiarc—collapses the counterfactual emanations of cybervisionaries AUDiNT
and Mer Roberts
with the ‘pataphysically mètic incantations of Lord Auch!
(Lendl Barcelos, Marc Couroux & Amy Ireland), Bibliothèque
and Plastique Fantastique
as evidence of an ongoing xenochronic call to the Old (Ph)ones.