Research Networking Day: Power, Rage and Loss

Kunstquartier Studio 1, Mariannenplatz 2, 10997 Berlin Map
Tickets: Free Entrance


15:45 16:45

Talks by Florina Speth and Hillegonda Rietveld
Hosted by Bodo Mrozek and Dahlia Borsche

The Research Networking Day provides a platform to exchange ideas and experiences for students and researchers from different European graduate and postgraduate programmes traversing the fields of audio, arts, media, design and related theoretical disciplines. A yearly initiative co-organised with Humboldt University’s Department of Musicology, the RND sought submissions from students, junior researchers and persons pursuing higher levels of research and studies to present projects and findings connected to the CTM 2017 Fear Anger Love Theme.

Module IV Introduction

The fourth and final module of the 2017 Research Networking Day is hosted by Bodo Mrozek, a researcher at the Center for Contemporary History (ZZF) in Potsdam and lecturer in pop musicology at Humboldt University in Berlin. His PhD project focused on youth and pop culture post-1945 and from a transnational perspective. His current research includes the history of popular culture, music and media history, and the contemporary history of the senses.

Music – A Social Painkiller

Florina Speth (University for Music Carl Maria von Weber Dresden, DE)

Music has the power to cause an urge to move, it can influence mood levels, levels of arousal, relaxation and attention. When social groups are exposed to music together these effects can be utilised to induce an alignment of individual mental states towards a level of shared agreement. This phenomenon is often described as a feeling of social cohesion. The formation of this feeling via music is based on shared desires: humans love to predict the future, they are afraid of the unknown, and they become angry when their moral values are attacked. Rhythmic anticpation, repetition of musical motives as well as cultural familiarity e.g. within tonal systems can fulfill these desires. In this talk, the discussion of music in the role of a painkiller for social disagreement will emphasize its ambivalent political potentials in our days.

Florina Speth is working as a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Musician's Medicine at University for Music Carl Maria von Weber, Dresden. In her PhD, which she earned at Humbdolt University in 2016, she investigated the role of sound in robot-assisted therapy. She works in close collaboration with ETH Zürich's Institute of Robotics on sound for robotic systems. Her academic roots are Cognitive Musicology, Linguistics and Music Therapy, which she studied at the University of Cologne. She studied cello at the University Mozarteum Salzburg. Under the name Schloss Mirabell she composes electronic music that is inspired by her main research interests: music, humans, machines.

Digital Darkness: Rage and Loss in the Urban Sound of Techno

Hillegonda Rietveld (London South Bank University, UK)

Through a set of disparate musical fragments, the presentation will address a sonic aesthetic in electronic dance music that seems to destroy linear time-space through distorted machine textures, labyrinthine echoic sound effects, and occasional erratic editing. Rietveld argues that techno genres often share dystopian articulations of post-human experiences of the technoculture, understood here as a neo-liberal configuration of technologized existence; regardless of where such dance events are held, participants are culturally linked via globally filtered online hubs that ultimately act as urban sprawls. Decentering the rational subject of modernity, away from the light of day techno can break the rhythmical order in a high-speed rage (eg. Happa) while others inertly slow towards nothingness in the eye of the storm of information overload (eg. Lorn) as recordings are mixed and remixed to points of near-erasure, haunted by their fragmented whispers of barely recognisable traces (eg. Burial, El Kid). Within an array of technological wizardry, the rationalised organisation of the modern city seems turned back on itself to reveal its marginalised spaces of urban culture. Offering what seems a deconstructive critique without solution, a space between words, a seductive sense of unspeakable rage and loss manifests itself.

Hillegonda Rietveld is Professor of Sonic Culture at the School of Arts and Creative Industries, London South Bank University, UK. She is also the Editor of IASPM Journal, the international peer-reviewed open-access journal of IASPM (International Association for the Study of Popular Music), and a member of the international advisory board of Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture. Involved professionally in club and DJ culture since the early 80s, she initially released electronic production work with Quando Quango for Manchester's Factory Records. Her publications address the development and experience of electronic dance music cultures, including the co-edited collection DJ Culture in the Mix: Power, Technology, and Social Change in Electronic Dance Music (Bloomsbury Academic) and the monograph This Is Our House: House Music, Cultural Spaces and Technologies (Ashgate).

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