Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

La Selva

Can I highly, highly recommend reading Alphonso Lingis's The Imperative while listening to Francisco Lopez's La Selva? Lopez opens your ears to the enveloping sound of the jungle as I remember it from an all too brief trip to the Amazon in 1987. You are enveloped by life forms, totally. The temperature is 98 degrees—no difference between inside and outside. Day surges up like the sun in Shelley's The Triumph of Life. And night surges up just as rapidly. Minimal twilight. Far and near begin to lose definition. The jungle is a hyperobject. Intimacy with a massively distributed object. An object whose parts far outnumber the whole.

Lopez's work is the most stunning I've heard for a while...

And Lingis is the Lopez of philosophy. Intense, compelling objects that surround you like skin, that are your skin, that seduce you at every turn, that tell you how to listen to them, look at them, handle them. Not an aestheticized “lifeworld” with its distances and horizons, but something much more intimate and profound.

Lopez from his website:

Much against a widespread current trend in sound art and the customary standard in nature recordings, I believe in the possibility of a profound, pure, 'blind' listening of sounds, freed (as much as possible) of procedural, contextual or intentional levels of reference.


And he's spot on about sound art. It's not about realism as “rendering” some simulation of real-ness, but about producing what Pierre Schaeffer called sound objects. He thus opposes acoustic ecology, as do I, even though (because!) he is an ecologist...

2 comments:

pervegalit said...

Apropos of Lopez, if you aren't familiar with it already, you may find Leigh Landy's book from 2007 or '08, Understanding the Art of Sound Organization, interesting. It's on Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/doc/23745423/Understanding-the-Art-of-Sound-Organization-Landy

Here's the MIT Press blurb: http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=11258&mlid=646

--Shahar

Timothy Morton said...

Hey thanks for that--this looks fascinating.