Machine languages: The digitization of the social

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Machine Languages is an interdisciplinary project encompassing work in computer music, dance and digital video, and featuring an immersive eight-channel loudspeaker configuration, video projection and live performance. The five pieces that make up the project call upon conventions of soundscape composition and "glitch" computer music to both highlight their own technological constructedness and refer to a broader, real-world context. Referring to spaces as diverse as Latvia, Turkey and Burnaby Mountain, and relating to a broad range of technologies including the human body and the new digital machines of war, Machine Languages aims for a critical engagement with technology as well as the configuration of a new "spatial politics" which honours the specificity of particular soundscapes while attempting to avoid exoticism and nostalgia. This project proceeds from the premise that if digital technology plays an increasingly important role in the social and cultural practices of our digitized and networked globality, then these five works can offer an alternative not only to the abstraction and homogenization of space in late capitalist modernity, but also to the technological triumphalism which prevails in "Information Technology" marketing rhetoric as well as in much 'new media" and digital culture in general.

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School for the Contemporary Arts - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.F.A.)