Barbara Jung on Wed, 23 Oct 96 14:46 MET

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Re:nettime:Ambient, Techno, Internet - Harald Fricke

Harald Fricke first draws a parallel between techno an the internet
because both have become mass phenomena. This is followed by a detailed 
critique of ambient music as *musical furniture*, which leads to the 
thesis that the internet doesnęt 
>extend the state of the artjust like ambient music doesnęt. Be it or not: to look for the reason
in accusing both of using electronic equipment without any limitations 
concerning the contents is certainly a mistake.
Then he finally comes to the point:
>The fact that the two media have come together may be part of their
>failure.Although itęs beyond me how he comes to such a conclusion on account
of the things he said, he tries to substantiate it with the example
of another mixture of two spheres: techno and art.

That doesnęt work, because itęs a totally different situation, but it 
made me write something about this connection and the problem in general:

Hermetic subsystems seem to have granted autonomy in a way, that it seems
incredible how someone can dare to have something to say in different 
provinces. A strict separation of these ranges, though it would be 
desirable, fails, because one just has *one* body and one cannot split 
oneself in separated identities, where the particular social group
doesnęt know about the existence of the other identities. By the way, one 
can rather call a society with hermetic subsystems (if one sees it as an 
entity) multiphrenic than an individual with several interests.
But I see the mixture of different discourses with suspicion as well: if 
it is in the techno-scene, where a high-class, formalistic and structural 
branch of art of the 80s (with *pure* photography!) is revived to show
that techno *really is* intelligent, serious music ... (that can be seen 
in the advert design of labels and events)

... if in the art scene, where (how H. Boehringer formulated it) "pop 
serves as a vampyristic refreshment of a
bloodless autopoiesis". The author of the preface of the last 
"Kunstforum" could not prevent himself from
adding a long list of credits to his text, like it is usual on records, - 
obviously to demonstrate that heęs
equipped with the necessary measure of "respect" and emotionality.

The "theory-scene" seems to be in an intermediate space: fanzine writers 
(if they are classed with)
enrich their reviews with avantgarde paradigms, in the same degree they 
tend to judge music by linear-innovative,
conceptual measures, according to the joking "you would buy a dogęs bark 
if it had been released on WARP".
More academic (art-)theorists often cannot distinguish between *junk* out 
of the question (which they although
find important because of its supposed "pop-qualities") and inventive 
experiments. They are not deep enough into it
to make out the difference.

The connection of several fields, how it is tried by people (like me) who 
take up no special place,
was certainly tackled too lax and too naive. All attempts to show art 
parties or to make music in an art context, although the motive was at 
first a harmless idealism,
seem to have failed. It is in the same way absurd, when music is judged 
by a theoretical point of view
or when a theory is based on (undigested) pop-phenomena.
The general problem of the connection of different scenes is in my eyes,
that people usually are first and foremost part of *one* scene and
see the other scene through the glasses of the first one.

That someone who acts on different terrains equally cannot reach the 
degree of an one-sided specialized person
in a single area, is just partly true: apart from the fact that a mere 
technical professionality is 
made an absolute, a change of perspective, which leads to new statements, 
is often blocked to specialists.

What could be the consequences? I think there will be no way back to the 
pure intellect, undefiled by
popular culture. So we have to live with these amalgamations, hoping that 
the different scenes 
depending on different *media*, not contents, will dissolve,
because there are not enough people left who belong to a single one.

Barbara Jung  

Tel.: +49(0)561/812997
Fax:  +49(0)561/8043681
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