Tuning Speculation (NYC) ‘Maginary Magnitudes and Sonic Refractions


FRIDAY, 1 APRIL 1 2016
9:00 AM — 18:00 PM

New York University
Performance Studies Studio
6th Floor, room 612

This one-day symposium approaches such things as sound writing, auditory apophenia and “exploding head syndrome” as critical techniques of existence that dramatize the conditional gap between what a life “is” and what it “could be.” In other words, when taken as speculatively pragmatic ways of being rather than simply impassive fantasies, these techniques can be understood to articulate imaginary magnitudes that refuse not only a single scale of relation but a single relation of scale. In this respect, the ludic urge that informs the sense of sound’s being written, (mis)heard, and hallucinated links itself to activities that are more intensive then they are extensive, more expressive and contingent than substantive and determinate. This engagement with what might be called the abstractions of scale is particularly important in a time when capitalism is beginning to draw surplus value from our cognitive and affective faculties, and as new media technologies extend their reach into increasingly imperceptible and seemingly unthinkable domains. Accordingly, the presenters in this symposium employ their own speculative-pragmatic techniques in order to both interrogate the occult economies of abstraction and to advance forms of critical enquiry that scale between conditional and factual modes of being.