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'On Alienation': 3 events in Beirut Nov. 5, 6 and 7
November-05-2014 07:00 PM till November-07-2014 04:00 PM
Cherine Lynn Karam , email@example.com
5th of November, Wednesday
Ray Brassier and Mattin
Non-idiomatic Improvisation (Guitar and drums)
7pm AUB Byblos Bank Art Gallery
6th of November, Thursday
Mattin in collaboration with...
7pm, 98weeks @ The Mansion
On Alienation is a doctoral research in different chapters and formats on the concept of alienation.
For each chapter, Mattin does a performance in which abstract, theoretical ideas are explored in a
concrete situation. Mattin is interested in collapsing scientific experiment and experimental music,
and in reconsidering the correlation between cause and effect when particular factors and concepts
are manipulated in real life.
On Alienation’s first performance is hosted by 98weeks, and will take place at the Mansion on
November 6th at 7pm.
The following day, Mattin will present his theoretical research in conjunction with an account of
the performance realized the night before.
7th of November, Friday
On Alienation A Talk by Mattin Artiach
2pm, Art History Department, AUB. Bldg. 37 (behind Lee Observatory)
The talk is hosted by FAAH (Department of Fine Arts and Art History) and AHI (Art and Humanities Initiative).
The concept of ‘alienation’ is both intrinsic to the development of modernity and closely connected to aesthetics. For Schiller, the fragmentation of the individual in mechanized modern society causes humans to lose their natural wholeness; only through aesthetics and playfulness in particular, could this wholeness be recovered. For Hegel's dialectical thinking, the notion of alienation is central as it is the manifestation of mediation, a process that is constitutive of human self-consciousness.
For Marx, alienation happens in capitalism when the worker objectifies her activity in exchange for a wage. Today, neuroscience is showing us a different type of mystification: it exposes our spontaneous beliefs about ourselves, and about what it is to be a self, as illusions. In particular, the work of Thomas Metzinger shows how the self is a projection generated by our brains; a projection which produces what he calls “the illusion of transparency”. This is an appearance that makes us believe that the self is real because we don’t have access to the processes that produces this illusion. In aesthetics, the notions of alienation, estrangement, and defamiliarization have been used specially in modern art, theatre, literature, and cinema in order to render unfamiliar that which seems familiar, thereby encouraging us to question mechanisms of production that appeared to be natural or neutral. In noise and improvisation -the contexts in which I work - some of these techniques have been used before and have obtained powerful results. However, my contention is that they have become conventionalized and emptied of their original critical purchase. This is particularly the case when they continue to invoke the self as the decisive agent of freedom. My research seeks to synthesize the theoretical resources that deal with alienation in order to develop new techniques for a contemporary use of alienation in aesthetics, and more specifically in the practices of noise and improvisation, a field I work in.
Mattin is an artist from Bilbao (currently living in Stockholm) working with noise and improvisation. His work seeks to address the social and economic structures of experimental sonic artistic production through live performance, recordings and writing. Using a conceptual approach, he aims to question the nature and parameters of improvisation, specifically the relationship between the idea of ''freedom''and constant innovation that it traditionally implies, and the established conventions of improvisation as a genre. Mattin considers improvisation not only as an interaction between performers and instruments, but as a situation involving all the elements that constitute a concert situation, including the audience and the social and architectural space. He tries to expose the stereotypical relation between active performer and passive audience, producing a sense of strangeness and alienation that disturbs this relationship. He is currently doing a PhD at the University of the Basque Country under the supervision of Ray Brassier and Josu Rekalde. He has edited with Anthony Iles the book Noise & Capitalism and in 2012 CAC Brétigny and Tuamaturgia published Uconsitituted Praxis, a book collecting Mattin´s writing plus interviews and reviews from performances that he has been part of. Both books are available online.