I1: Sonic R/e/volutions: Materiality, Memory, Music, Movement

Session Abstract/Description: 

This panel situates sound and music as integral to understanding the concert of rhetorical activities that we use (and that use us) in the composition of everyday living, remembering, and acting. We’re especially interested in the ways sound acts in the world: its material beginnings, its mediations and modulations, its cultural impacts, and its lingering traces in memory--in short, sound’s constantly (r)evolving reverberations. 

Stedman: “33 ⅓ Revolutions per Minute: The Changing Face of Musical Rhetoric”: This project critiques past approaches to musical rhetoric and suggests approaches that bring some of the specific strengths of the computers and writing field to the conversation (our emphasis on multimodality, remixing, and collaboration between composer and audience). But instead of simply telling the audience these ideas, this presentation enacts them in an interactive performance that draws attention to the material conditions of musical rhetoric in the age of recorded music.

Stone: “Memory (R)evolution: Music, Mystery, and Race in the Folklife Archive”: This presentation explores several ways that music, memory, and mystery (r)evolve in the physical and digital archive (and in the spaces in between). While mystery hangs over all historiographic work in the archive, this presentation focuses specifically on the ways that the Folklife archive at the Library of Congress became a repository for the memory and mystery of racial difference in the 1930s, particularly the mystery of African American life and culture. We’ll listen to recordings from the archive together (many of which are available digitally) and consider how the mystery of racial difference has become embedded within public memory and continues to resonate in contemporary sonic experience.

Hammer: “con_volution//corrupt_tion: writing (dirty) new media”: This experimental lecture will perform and explore potential intersections of multimedia rhetoric and composition with the experimental new media art movement dirty new media art (DNM). Applying the philosophies and practices of DNM to new media writing practices, I will first explore broad potentials of a dirty new media writing model that embraces noise, brokenness, open culture/piracy, and sharp, even NSFW, cultural critique. I will then apply DNM to writing with sound, arguing that contemporary recording and editing practices conceal the subjectivities and materialities of technologies, obscure methods of production, and thus reinforce what glitch theorist Rosa Menkman refers to as “regrettable and ill-fated dogma” of “the dominant, continuing search for a noiseless channel.”

Ferris: “Composing Revolution: The Body Rhetoric of Protest Music”: Every social movement has a soundtrack. Indeed, music is integral if not essential to collective action because the embodied act of group singing holds the power to educate, enculturate, unify, and disrupt. In this participatory presentation, I examine theories and case studies from a range of disciplines to explain the rhetorical functions of protest music, but I will also provoke audience participation to elicit extra-cognitive engagement. As we create our own audiotopia, we will experience how music embodies rhetoric, constructs identity, and disrupts verbal communication to support collective action.

Room: 
Time: 

Presenters for this session

Jonathan Stone's picture
University of Illinois
Steven Hammer's picture
Saint Joseph's University
Harley Ferris's picture
University of Louisville
Kyle D. Stedman's picture
Rockford University
Presentation Title Abstract Categories Tags Presenter(s)
Sonic R/e/volutions: Materiality, Memory, Music, Movement

This panel situates sound and music as integral to understanding the concert of rhetorical activities that we use (and that use us) in the composition of everyday living, remembering, and acting. We’re especially interested in the ways sound acts in the world: its material beginnings, its mediations and modulations, its cultural impacts, and its lingering traces in memory--in short, sound’s constantly (r)evolving reverberations. 

Stedman: “33 ⅓ Revolutions per Minute: The Changing Face of Musical Rhetoric”: This project critiques past approaches to musical rhetoric and suggests approaches that bring some of the specific strengths of the computers and writing field to the conversation (our emphasis on multimodality, remixing, and collaboration between composer and audience). But instead of simply telling the audience these ideas, this presentation enacts them in an interactive performance that draws attention to the material conditions of musical rhetoric in the age of recorded music.

Stone: “Memory (R)evolution: Music, Mystery, and Race in the Folklife Archive”: This presentation explores several ways that music, memory, and mystery (r)evolve in the physical and digital archive (and in the spaces in between). While mystery hangs over all historiographic work in the archive, this presentation focuses specifically on the ways that the Folklife archive at the Library of Congress became a repository for the memory and mystery of racial difference in the 1930s, particularly the mystery of African American life and culture. We’ll listen to recordings from the archive together (many of which are available digitally) and consider how the mystery of racial difference has become embedded within public memory and continues to resonate in contemporary sonic experience.

Hammer: “con_volution//corrupt_tion: writing (dirty) new media”: This experimental lecture will perform and explore potential intersections of multimedia rhetoric and composition with the experimental new media art movement dirty new media art (DNM). Applying the philosophies and practices of DNM to new media writing practices, I will first explore broad potentials of a dirty new media writing model that embraces noise, brokenness, open culture/piracy, and sharp, even NSFW, cultural critique. I will then apply DNM to writing with sound, arguing that contemporary recording and editing practices conceal the subjectivities and materialities of technologies, obscure methods of production, and thus reinforce what glitch theorist Rosa Menkman refers to as “regrettable and ill-fated dogma” of “the dominant, continuing search for a noiseless channel.”

Ferris: “Composing Revolution: The Body Rhetoric of Protest Music”: Every social movement has a soundtrack. Indeed, music is integral if not essential to collective action because the embodied act of group singing holds the power to educate, enculturate, unify, and disrupt. In this participatory presentation, I examine theories and case studies from a range of disciplines to explain the rhetorical functions of protest music, but I will also provoke audience participation to elicit extra-cognitive engagement. As we create our own audiotopia, we will experience how music embodies rhetoric, constructs identity, and disrupts verbal communication to support collective action.

Communities, Difference, Evolutions, Revolutions, Technologies sound, music, multimodal, rhetoric, memory Kyle D. Stedman, Jonathan Stone, Steven Hammer, Harley Ferris

Volunteers

Emi Bunner has volunteered to film this panel
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