[kunst + technik]eV on 17 Sep 2001 10:40:38 -0000

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[rohrpost] SONIC FICTION: ClonEmotion 1.0 : Workshop with Kodwo Eshun programed and produced by 100% Future in colaboration with Lisbon night club LUX

SONIC FICTION: ClonEmotion 1.0

A programation by CEM /  Futuro a 100%  with the colaboration of LUX

Workshop from 100% Future with Kodwo Eshun

 27, 28 e 29 Sept. in LUX (club) in Lisbon from 3PM to 8 PM


info and aplications inf100@c-e-m.org or 00 351 918723621 , and


day one: 27 – part 1

The Groop listens and discusses particular tracks from the concept albums of the producer Mathew Herbert.

Herbert: Around the House (1997)

Doctor Rockitt: Indoor Fireworks (1999)

The Groop adopts and adapts the 10 Point Program of Mathew Herbert’s Personal Contract for the Composition of Music or PCCOM, available at www.mathewherbert.com.


day one: 27 – part 2

The Groop listens and discuses tracks from the concept albums of Mathew Herbert and Matmos

Herbert: Bodily Functions (2001)

Matmos: A Chance to Cut is A Chance to Cure (2001)

The Groop reads and discusses samples from JG Ballard: Myths of the Near Future(1982)

Each person in the Groop chooses a single piece of technology This can be anything from an ansaphone to Metasynth software to the microphone on a video camera to ringtones on a mobile phone.

Each person in the Groop can restrict themselves to a single sound source or not.

Each member of the group will use this technology to create a fragment from a day in your life as a clone.



day two: 28 – part 1

The Groop feeds on clone data. This material exists as divergent samples science fiction novels, scientific papers, news reports, website pages, video clips, musical interludes. Any patterns or incongrous events will be discerned, integrated, adapted or ignored into the fragment of a day in the life of a clone or not.  


day two: 28 – part 2

Each participant begins to use their instrument/ medium to assemble their sonic fiction.



day three: 29 – part 1

Each participant  in the Groop reports back on the production process of their sonic fiction


day three: 29 – final part

The participants of the Groop present their sonic fiction. A written statement explains their choice of media, their source material, their concept and the state of mind the sonic fiction suggests. Then the titled sonic fiction is presented to the rest of the Groop.  There is Feedforward. The Sonic Fictions will be stored as Phase 1.0 of an audiovisual installation entitled ClonEmotion 1-5.       

SONIC FICTION: ClonEmotion 1.0
what is it?
(by Kodwo Eshun)

Kleo Mavrides. The young bride was the dead woman’s clone, sharing her name and her genes. There were times when Lindsay felt that behind the merry eyes of the younger Kleo there lurked an older spirit, as a sound might still vibrate in the glass of a crystal just after it had ceased to ring.


Bruce Sterling, Schizmatrix ( 1985)


Over the course of 3 days, participants in the Sonic Fiction Groop will attend a Workshop on Sonic Fiction in Lisbon, hosted by the critic Kodwo Eshun. They will use digital sound to imagine a possible future.  By fictionalising sound, the Groop operates at the soft interface between science fiction and organized sound. The Workshop is an informal Stereo Laboratory. Misspelling the word Group as Groop copies Stereolab’s spelling and invokes that group’s spirit of frank and optimistic thievery.


The Sonic Fiction Groop does not proceed with an understanding of science fiction in its standard sense of prediction of the far-future, say the 30th Century. Rather, science fiction is understood here as an industrially based, print-driven thought process that preprograms the way people think in the present. You can see this process at work today in the future shock of cloning. Whenever governments and media think about the 21st Century reality of cloning, they inevitably cite 19th and 20th Century  ideas borrowed from Mary Shelley and Aldous Huxley.


Faced with the infiltration of the present species by a new kind of human, mainstream authority tends to reach back in time to the fictional scenarios of Frankenstein and Brave New World. As McLuhan pointed out, they prefer to look in the rear view mirror. Cloning is experienced as a threatening trauma. Science fiction therefore converts this unknowable event into a series of worst case scenarios, into manageable disasters, into thinkable futures. 19th century fictional science preprograms the habitual responses of authority in the present day. Industrial age scenarios provide a sense of comfort for a species-changing event that is genetic and digital.


In the early 1990s the critic and primatologist Donna Haraway suggested that the border between science fiction and social reality had become an optical illusion. Perhaps this is why so many Hollywood science fiction movies are so unsatisfying and why social reality now regularly yields moments of everyday extremism. None is more extreme than cloning.


As a technology, cloning is poised on the border between science fiction and science fact. It is a myth of a future that is racing towards us. Towards concrete realization. Once the fact of cloning is assumed, it becomes more compelling to imagine the perspective of the clone. The purpose of the Workshop is to project oneself 10 years from now.  To think of oneself as a clone.  Alive and busy. Getting things done. The psychological, emotional, and unconscious states of the clone become more fascinating than the rigid reactions of the late 90s and early 00s. The fearful fixation on disaster is replaced by …what  exactly ?


This is the purpose of the workshop: to create create audio fragments from a clone’s life.

Sonic fictions from an untold yet endlessly rehearsed drama. 


The sonic fictions assembled here in Lisbon proceed on an understanding of science fiction as a  Myth of the Near Future, in the term invented and elaborated by the novelist JG Ballard in his books Myths of The Near Future and The Atrocity Exhibition.  Sci fi is a way of entering into the Bad New Present rather than the Good Old Fashioned Future. As what the designer Bruce Mau calls a New Brutalism of Now.


The object of the Workshop is to create a fragment of a myth from a near future. This Workshop will use the approach pioneered by the London based producer Mathew Herbert and the San Francisco based production duo Matmos. The ideas manifested in their music are elaborated by Herbert in the 10 Point Program entitled Personal Contract for the Composition of Music, available at www.mathewherbert.com.


For the Groop, the key point in the PCCOM is that everyday life rather than recorded music is sampled. The sampler is used to turn reality into a musical instrument. The reality of 21st century urban life provides tones as peculiar as the most complex kind of digital signal processing  or DSP software. The sampler- or the minidisc player, the tape recorder, the video-camera microphone, any recording device will do- simultaneously documents, memorialises and takes an audio-snapshot of reality. Music is made from the unmusical sources of everyday life, the audio-verite of a life becoming less ordinary day by day.


The Sonic Fiction Workshop applies this approach to the soon-to-be-real scenario of the clone.  It places real sounds at the service of a fictional event. Cloning is leaving the realm of science fiction, where it has dwelt for so long. The sonic fictions the Groop creates will be a series of Goodbyes to the dreams of science fiction, to the ideas that have preprogrammed humans for so long.


Science fiction is crashing.

A Sonic Fiction is a document from an era when clones were fictional. 


Creating the fictional fragment rehearses our responses to cloning. The research and development process compresses a process that will take others years to come to terms with into 3 days. It is an example of  adapting to the inevitable, experienced at an intensive rate. Rituals of adaptation will be necessary throughout the social fabric in 2011. Who will create these? Are science fiction-literate people uniquely prepared for this role? Or are they the last people you want to take advice from? Do you need help anyway?   What were YOU doing when you first heard that a living clone had been produced? Maybe this act of sonic fiction is training you for a new job. Bringing out your Inner Clone. Maybe you will become an Empath, a clone-sensitive professional in a world full of hostile clone-haters.