Andreas Bülhoff & Marc Matter
ɅV – A Sound Writing Tool
Consisting of spoken words which can be used as a DJ-tool to compose an artificial dialogue
«’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’» Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking-Glass
ɅV (phonetic transcription for ‹of› or ‹off›) is a twelve-inch vinyl record consisting of spoken words, which can be used as a DJ-tool to compose an artificial dialogue.
It makes use of 32 monosyllabic words on each side which were collected from the website of the New York Times (newspaper, formal language, mainstream, liberal) and a subforum of the 4chan messageboard entitled Politically Incorrect (online messageboard, informal language, subculture, reactionary) in winter 2018/19. Recited by two synthetic voices, they mirror two opposing extremes of current online debate in the materiality of a vinyl record.
This work aims to let contrasting positions of political discourse talk to each other, while stripping the language from its context to generate new text.
Mixing two copies of this record in a DJ-setup is recommended to construct unpredictable connections. To multiply the possibilities of meaning, it contains ambiguous and homophonous words only (avoiding hate speech), arranged in lists, text planes, rhythmic compositions plus four locked-grooves on each side. The artwork, designed by Jan Klöthe, features all words in phonetic transcription as well as graphic scores of all ten tracks.
ɅV is at the same time a post-digital take on sound poetry as it is created due to the current landscape of online debates and their ideologies. In the combinatorial filter bubble of this record, looped words become a writing method that may produce fragmentary narratives or arbitrary mantras.
ɅV is released by collective and label Research and Waves as initial part of the collaborative research platform Attune (www.attune.researchandwaves.net) that critically examines digital (re)formations of media, specifically the use of language and the emancipatory possibilities of poetic intervention in current political debates. For the release Research and Waves commissions a series of works and texts that use the record as a tool to (re)situate the speech of the sources through processes and gestures such as remixing, sampling, cutting, mashing, quoting, covering, morphing, or fading.
Both the NYT and the 4chan subforum, which act as examples for a political and cultural divide around identity and class politics, are put on the line for critical discussion. By (re)connecting the missing dots between the words and their sources these fragments of speech can be appropriated for a cross-cultural conversation about forms of oppression such as racism and white supremacy, patriarchism and neoliberalism.
Andreas Bülhoff (sync zine, Library of Artistic Print on Demand, SLU&ERS) and Marc Matter (Institut für Feinmotorik, The Durian Brothers, Salon des Amateurs) first met for a collaborative sound poetry performance at Poesiefestival Berlin in 2018, resulting in an ongoing artistic research of which ɅV is its latest manifestation.
|Title||ɅV – A Sound Writing Tool|
|Artist||Andreas Bülhoff & Marc Matter|
|Label||Research and Waves|
Specification: ɅV – A Sound Writing Tool