Not Signed-In
Which clippings match Simon Perkins' concept of 'Dialectic' pg.1 of 2
14 NOVEMBER 2014

Smooth and striated interactions between sound and digital technologies

"In the plateau '1440: The Smooth and Striated' from their book A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Deleuze and Guattari propose a distinction between smooth and striated space. Presenting a dialectical construction of space in which 'the two spaces in fact exist only in mixture' they argue 'smooth space is constantly being translated, transversed into a striated space, striated space is constantly being reversed, returned to a smooth space' [46]. In particular the technological model of smooth and striated space Deleuze and Guattari put forward serves as a useful construction of the interaction between sound and digital technologies. Using the example of fabric, Deleuze and Guattari explain a conception of striated space in which there are 'two kinds of parallel elements; in the simplest case there are vertical and horizontal elements, and the two intertwine, intersect perpendicularly' [47].

Performing different functions, one of these remains fixed, the other mobile, as demonstrated by one piece of thread remaining in place while another interweaves, or transverses, it or by the x–axis of time in a digital sound buffer which remains linear, straight, as its corresponding y–axis of amplitude simultaneously traces and diverges from it. It is crucial that 'a striated space of this kind is necessarily delimited, closed on at least one side', as 'fabric can be infinite in length but not in width' and though time does not constrain sound the limited headroom of digital audio means amplitude must [48]. Technological striated spaces are constructed with top and bottom, as belied by the seams of fabric or bit depth of digital sound [49]. Digital sound involves a constant process of translation in which sound moves between the smooth phenomenal space of actualized sonority and the striated space of potential that is the digital domain, while still presenting a smooth space of its own, and so is itself nothing more than a functional abstraction."

(Ben Byrne, 2009)

Byrne, B. (2009). "Digital Sound: On Technology, Infidelity and Potentiality". Totally Huge New Music Festival Conference. Edith Cowan University, Perth.


2009 • actualised sonority • amplitude • bit depth • cloth • dialectical construction • digital audio • digital sound • digital technologiesfabricFelix Guattarifunctional abstractionGilles Deleuze • headroom • infinite length • intersect perpendicularly • intertwine • interweave • mixture • parallel elements • Perth • process of translation • recording in analogue • recording sound • smooth and striated interactions • smooth phenomenal spacesmooth space • sonority • sound • sound capture • spacestriated space • technological striated space • thread • transverse • warp • warp and woof • weaving • weft • woof • x-axis • y-axis


Simon Perkins
07 OCTOBER 2014

Radical Museology / Working the Collection

"Drawing from Claire Bishop's recently published Radical Museology Or What's Contemporary in Museums of Contemporary Art? and taking place against the backdrop of our reading of the Arts Council England Collection, this roundtable focuses on the economic, historiographical, geopolitical and wider societal stakes of public acquisition and collection display. Focusing on museums that offer non–conservative and critically–reflective models.

Participants include Jesús Carrillo (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid), Francesco Manacorda (Artistic Director, Tate Liverpool) and Marta Dziewanska (Museum of Modern Art Warsaw). Chaired by Claire Bishop."

(Chaired by Claire Bishop, 22 May 2014, Nottingham Contemporary)



2014acquisitionsart historyart museumArts Council England • Arts Council England Collection • chronological ordering • Claire Bishop • collection display • collectionsconstellations metaphor • contemporaneity • contemporary artcontemporary art exhibitionscontemporary art museumcontemporary culture • critically-reflective models • Dan Perjovschi • dialectical contemporaneity • Francesco Manacorda • geopolitical • historiographical • Isobel Whitelegg • Jesus Carrillo • Madrid • Marta Dziewanska • Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofiamuseologymuseum • Museum of Modern Art Warsaw • museum studies • museumsNottingham Contemporaryperiodisation • permanent collection • presentism • public acquisitions • Reina Sofia • short-termism • Tate Liverpool • The Arcades Projectthematic organisation • Warsaw


Simon Perkins
27 JANUARY 2012

Adorno's ambitions for the constellation

"17. But I am eliciting these implications of Adorno's reservations about Gestalt because what they imply is what Adorno leaves unsaid here, namely the contrast with his ambitions for the constellation. I should caution here that Adorno sometimes uses the word 'constellation' to designate historically given, that is, already familiarized, ideological arrays or Gestalts [for example, Critical Models 138, 260]; my usage henceforth will connote 'constellation' in the sense Adorno valorizes, as a device with the potential to be turned, in somewhat the manner of the Brechtian V–effect, against such familiarizations (though just this dissident potential, of course, is what mid–century avant–gardists were seizing on in Gestalt). And as we'll see, the word's 'antithetical' reversals of meaning are themselves indices of the 'dialectical'–ness of Adorno's immanent critique. We might say that these 'antithetical' meanings––'constellation' as unconscious ideological synthesis versus 'constellation' as consciousness–raising estrangement; 'constellation' as object of critique, or as subject of it––are themselves a kind of constellation implying or encoding, concealing or de–familiarizing a narrative, that of the classic Enlightenment project summarized by Freud in the formula, 'making the unconscious conscious.' Adorno may 'repeat' an over–familiar constellation and then reliquify (or, Medusa–like, petrify) its 'congelations'; or he may present an unfamiliar and even shocking juxtaposition, whose estrangement is to provoke a new and heightened consciousness of the ideological condition in which we are entrapped. The historical image that results, ideological and critical all at once, appropriates the critical force we saw Adorno ascribing to the Benjaminian dialectical image, turning it, immanently, to estranging or defamiliarizing, sc. critical or (Hegel) 'negative' purposes."

(Steven Helmling, 2003)

Steven Helmling (2003). "Constellation and Critique: Adorno's Constellation, Benjamin's Dialectical Image", Postmodern Culture, Volume 14, Number 1, September 2003 | 10.1353/pmc.2003.0030


antithetical • avant-garde • avant-gardists • Benjaminian • Bertolt Brecht • Brechtian V-effect • concealing • congelations • consciousconsciousness • consciousness-raising estrangement • constellations • critical force • critical models • critique • de-familiarising • defamiliarising • dialectical • dialectical image • encodingEnlightenment project • estrangement • estranging • familiarisations • Georg Hegelgestalt • gestalts • historical image • historically given • ideological arrays • ideological condition • juxtaposition • making the unconscious • Medusanarrative • object of critique • Sigmund Freud • subject of critique • Theodor Adorno • unconscious ideological synthesis • Walter Benjamin


Simon Perkins
01 JANUARY 2011

New Directions in Interdisciplinarity: Broad, Deep, and Critical

"Before interdisciplinarity in either the disciplinary producing or disciplinary–circumscribing senses could manifest itself, disciplinarity itself had to take on its peculiarly modern form. Any assessment of interdisciplinarity – multi – and trans–, noncritical and critical– will benefit from an appreciation of this background.

Prior to the modern period, learning exhibited a kind of unity that might be called predisciplinary. Aristotle, it is true, introduced distinctions between logic, physics, and ethics, but these were never of a kind to raise the possibility of cross–disciplinary formations such as 'physical ethics.' During the Middle Ages, the division of the artes liberales into grammar, rhetoric, dialectic (the trivium), arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music (the quadrivium) ensured that the education of 'free men' included all the knowledge and skills needed to exercise their social roles. Insofar as it existed, disciplinary specialization was present more in the 'servile arts' of artisans and tradesmen. Not even teachers of the liberal arts became specialists in their different branches, because the idea of, for example, possessing arithmetic without grammar would have been considered a deformation of the mind. In the monastery schools, the unfettered pursuit of knowledge was viewed skeptically, criticized as curiositas, and therefore subject to disciplinization in a premodern behavioral sense. Only at the end of the Middle Ages, as the infinite pursuit of disciplinary knowledge took on the character of a spiritual activity, would Renaissance men become necessary to cross boundaries and synthesize diverse areas of learning."

(Robert Frodeman and Carl Mitcham, 2007, p.508)

[1][2] Frodeman, R. and C. Mitcham (2007). "New Directions in Interdisciplinarity: Broad, Deep, and Critical." Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society 27(6).


Aristotlearithmetic • artes liberales • artisanastronomy • cross boundaries • cross-disciplinary • curiositas • dialecticdisciplinary knowledgedisciplinary specialisationdisciplinesdiscursive fielddivisionethicsEuropean Renaissance • free men • geometrygrammarinterdisciplinarityknowledgeknowledge integrationlearningliberal artslogicmiddle agesModern • modern period • monastery schools • multidisciplinaritymusicorderingphysics • predisciplinary • premodernpursuit of knowledgeQuadriviumrhetoricservile artsskillsocial construction of knowledgesocial rolesspecialisation • spiritual activity • synthesis • tradesmen • transdisciplinarityTrivium • unity


Simon Perkins
31 AUGUST 2005

Theodor Adorno's constellation model: juxtaposed rather than integrated cluster of changing elements

"[Theodor] Adorno borrowed [the 'constellation'] term from [Walter] Benjamin. It signifies "a juxtaposed rather than integrated cluster of changing elements that resist reduction to a common denominator, essential core, or generative first principle" (Jay pp. 14–15). This concept can be seen in Adorno's writing style. Adorno seeks to enact a negative dialectic, in which concepts are not reduced to categorical understandings. By preserving the contradictory and irreconcilable differences of arguments and observations in his work, Adorno maintains the tension between the universal and the particular, between essentialism and nominalism."

(Jennefer Callaghan, Emory University, Atlanta)

Martin Jay (1984). "Adorno". Cambridge, Mass, Harvard University Press.


changing elements • clusterconstellation modelconstellations • contradictory • dialectic • irreconcilable • Jennefer Callaghan • juxtaposition • Martin Jay • parataxis • particular • Theodor Adorno • trans-discursive • Walter Benjamin

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