Noise & Capitalism


Noise & Capitalism

Publisher: Arteleku Audiolab (Kritika series), Donostia-San Sebastián (Gipuzkoa)

Publication date: September 2009.

ISBN: 978-84-7908-622-1

Contributors: Ray Brassier, Emma Hedditch, Matthew Hyland, Anthony Iles, Sara Kaaman, Mattin, Nina Power, Edwin Prévost, Bruce Russell, Matthieu Saladin, Howard Slater, Csaba Toth, Ben Watson.

Editors: Mattin & Anthony Iles

‘Noise’ not only designates the no-man’s-land between electro-acoustic investigation, free improvisation, avant-garde experiment, and sound art; more interestingly, it refers to anomalous zones of interference between genres: between post-punk and free jazz; between musique concrète and folk; between stochastic composition and art brut. – Ray Brassier

This book, Noise & Capitalism, is a tool for understanding the situation we are living through, the way our practices and our subjectivities are determined by capitalism. It explores contemporary alienation in order to discover whether the practices of improvisation and noise contain or can produce emancipatory moments and how these practices point towards social relations which can extend these moments.

If the conditions in which we produce our music affects our playing then let’s try to feel through them, understand them as much as possible and, then, change these conditions.

If our senses are appropriated by capitalism and put to work in an ‘attention economy’, let’s, then, reappropriate our senses, our capacity to feel, our receptive powers; let’s start the war at the membrane!

Alienated language is noise, but noise contains possibilities that may, who knows, be more affective than discursive, more enigmatic than dogmatic.

Noise and improvisation are practices of risk, a ‘going fragile’. Yet these risks imply a social responsibility that could take us beyond ‘phoney freedom’ and into unities of differing.

We find ourselves poised between vicariously florid academic criticism, overspecialised niche markets and basements full of anti-intellectual escapists. There is, afterall, ‘a Franco, Churchill, Roosevelt, inside all of us…’ yet this book is written neither by chiefs nor generals.
Here non-appointed practitioners, who are not yet disinterested, autotheorise ways of thinking through the contemporary conditions for making difficult music and opening up to the willfully perverse satisfactions of the auricular drives.

The distribution of this book is going to be done by trading:

If you are an artist, musician, writer or engage in any creative activity, we would very much appreciate that you send a sample of your work as a form of exchange for the book. Otherwise you can write a critical response to the book and send it to Arteleku.

If you are a distributor or a label or a publisher and you want to get copies of the book for distribution, you can send single copies of different books, zines or records in exchange and Arteleku will send you copies of the book in return.

Any material sent to Arteleku will become part of Arteleku’s library and people will have free access to this material.

Post: Arteleku, Kristobaldegi 14 (o nuevo P. Ainzieta), Loiola Auzoa, 20014 Donostia – San Sebastián (Spain).

Arteleku might take some time to reply and to send the books but they will do it as soon as they can.

This book can be downloaded as a PDF file:

Spanish and Basque editions of this book will be published in early 2010.

Upcoming presentations:

20 November
Noise & Capitalism at Piksel Festival Bergen
15:30-16:15 Bergen Kunstmuseum/Stenersen
Room Audiotoriet
Piksel Festival

24 & 25 November
Noise & Capitalism reading group at CalArts
4pm – 8pm
1st day:
Genre is Obsolete by Ray Brassier
Towards a Social Ontology of Improvised Sound Work by Bruce Russell
2th day:
Prisoners of the Earth Come Out! Notes Towards ‘War at the Membrane’ by Howard Slater
Anti-Copyright: Why Improvisation and Noise Run Against the Idea of Intellectual Property by Mattin
Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts
(california institute of the arts)
All welcome

27 November
Noise & Capitalism presentation and discussion
7pm,16 Beaver
16 Beaver Street
4th & 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004


11 January
Noise & Capitalism discussion Alan Courtis & Mattin
Instituto Cervantes
Bryggarg. 12 A
11121 Stockholm, Sweden

24-25 February
Noise & Capitalism: Undoing, Understanding and Sharing Time Together
(Emma Hedditch, Anthony Iles, Howard Slater & Mattin)
26 February
Performance/experiment Emma Hedditch, Anthony Iles, Howard Slater & Mattin
Kill Your Timid Notion Festival
Dundee, Scotland

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