Accepted paper:

A post-humanist glimpse of music


Josep Marti (IMF-CSIC)

Paper short abstract:

The aim of this paper is to give a view of the current relationship music/human being through the post-humanist prism. The basic idea is that understanding music as transformative technology, music makes us, as part of the very same process by which we make it.

Paper long abstract:

It would be impossible to understand what music means for human beings without the idea of "situation". But the great radical change that has been taking place in the last few decades is that music has been released from the original and specific situations for which it could have been conceived. The current powerful musical technologies and media, in quality of actants (Actor Network Theory) have made possible the emergence of a new subject characterized by the all-embracing musical listening, i.e. with a total musical availability. We can dwell in music at any time and in any situation we want. To this new subject the possibility of implementing itself in music is offered as never before. Departing from this reality, and conceiving music as transformative technology (Aniruddh Patel), I will explore the relationship music/human being through the basic assumptions that the world is not filled, in the first instance, with facts, but with agency (Andrew Pickering) and that the individual is constituted from open-ended dynamics of intra-activity (Karen Barad). With this approach we overcome the old idea that technologies have to be understood as something totally external to humans, or only somewhat related to the social context. The basic idea that I will develop in this paper is the post-human understanding that music makes us, as part of the very same process by which we make it.

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