Objects, humans, and the ‘social’ in free improvisation
A seminar by Tristan Clutterbuck (PhD candidate, SARC, School of Creative Arts)
27 November 2015
1-2pm, Multimedia Room
Sonic Arts Research Centre
ABSTRACT: My practice-based research is in part an investigation into the complex weave of human and non-human agencies in social / technical assemblages — but these semiotic categories are themselves not unproblematic, and the focus of this seminar is in highlighting the contradictory relationship between reality and construction: how can it be possible to say that something is both `real’ and `manufactured’ at the same time? Or, put another way; how can we reconcile the contradictions between experience and our accounts of experience? The brash answer to these questions lies not in any appeal to language, but through the firm advancement of understanding practices as multiple ’’modes of existence’’ with their own unique conditions of veridiction — the general argument for practice-based research. The longer answer presupposes an acceptance of the plurality in the short one, and requires a much closer examination of the means with which social worlds are built. In this seminar I hope to begin by following the strategies and logics of material semiotics (Law 2004, 2008) and actor-network (2007) in unpicking controversies around group formation, and the threads of agency between humans and non-humans, with a view to multiply the types, not just number (Small 1998), of actors that are allowed to build the social and aesthetic in improvisation.