Transduction and ensembles of transducers: relaying flows of intensities in music

Paulo de Assis will take part and present at the international conference The Concept of Immanence in Philosophy and the Arts, organised by Arno Böler, Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca, and Elisabeth Schäfer as part of the Austrain FWF-PEEK project ‘Artist-Philosophers. Philosophy as arts-based research’. Other presenters include Anne Sauvagnargues, Stephen Zepke, and John O’ Maoilearca.

Paulo’s presentation is on Saturday, May 7, at 15:30, at the Angewandte Innovation Laboratory, University of Applied Art Vienna, Franz Josef Kai 3, 1010 Vienna.

Title: Transduction and ensembles of transducers: relaying flows of intensities in music

Abstract: Originating from the sciences and crucially developed in its philosophical meaning by Gilbert Simondon, the notion of transduction offers new ways of thinking and problematizing artistic practices based upon intense immanent processes, such as music performances and compositions. Simondon defined a transducer as a continuous electric relay that operates as a modulable resistance between a potential energy and its concrete place of actualization. It is possible to modulate such resistance through the means of information, which remains external both to the potential energy and to the actual energy. Transduction is a process whereby a disparity or a difference is topologically and temporally restructured across some interface. In music, be it in the act of composing or performing, the main interface is a human body (notating a score, playing an instrument, vibrating vocal cords), a complex machine inhabited by diverse layers of information, which shape the actual rendering of musical events. Considering bodies, instruments, bodyinstruments, scores, recordings, concert halls and audiences as different types of transducers, this presentation will argue for a novel approach to music making, defining an experimental regime characterized by ensembles of transducers and their respective relaying of affects and intensities.