The Team of Six Million

11/20 – Counterfutures, Issue 10
In such a way, the returnee and the antagonisms that they represent should be understood as part of broader political contestation around the demos and the border, and hence tied up with the plight of both the migrant and the refugee. In a state of crisis, even those whose membership of the demos appears to be given, such as the citizen living abroad, becomes conditional and subject to political contestation. Within such states of crisis, agonistic relations run the risk of becoming antagonistic, as the them can quickly become recast as the enemy. – Full text available here

The Preset, the Generic, and an Ambivalent Politics of Non-Production

10/20 – Plates Journal, Issue: 02 Cipher 

“As cultural production has been increasingly subsumed into digital and networked platforms in recent decades, it has become over-coded by processes of automation and standardisation that remain largely opaque to the user. These complex algorithmic processes that underlie the graphical user interfaces that we (the non-technical user or end-user) interact with are simplified and made legible to us as “presets.” Thomas Smith is a Melbourne-based artist, electronic musician, and researcher whose work explores these processes and the increasingly uncanny position we find ourselves in as subjects enmeshed in ever-present networks of control. Employing his notion of the preset as a departure point I sat down with Smith to discuss his work and how it explores the broader socio-technological tensions at play within contemporary networked capitalism.” – Full text available here                        

Pandemic Airlines

08/20 – Friendly Potential, Epsiode 209

This mix was developed from a hastily constructed Spotify playlist that the artist put together in anticipation of flying internationally during the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic. The track list, which features some of my favourite recent ambient releases, was selected to promote a sense of calm to allay my fears of contagion and flying, while still acknowledging and playing with the sense of dislocation and the uncanny that was invoked by the experience of travelling internationally during the pandemic.

Mountains & Rivers

06/20 - Sonorous Circle

With Mountains & Rivers, Voronoi departs from the radiated post-industrial atmospheres of his debut EP, Yucca Flat, Nevada, to conjure up a selection of more bucolic, but no less sinister soundscapes. Spectral traces of rave vocals long since consigned to digital oblivion burble up through a thicket of electro-acoustic refrains. As the title suggests, a sense of geography haunts the tracks on the EP, but the landscapes suggested here are wholly virtual or illusory. The hybrid forms of synthesis, field recording and electro-acoustic manipulation that make up much of the EP’s instrumentation evoke an irreal, synthetic ecology that mirror Keys’ own geographic dislocation. With its dynamic affective structure oscillating between melancholy, reflection, hurt, and a persistent longing for a spiritual communion that can never be fully realised, Mountains & Rivers is a de-spiritualised elegy to the absence of presence. – Available here

The Danse Macabre: The Covid-19 Pandemic & The Allocation of Risk Under Capitalism

04/20 – &&&
“By the terms of the field of existential risk studies, the pandemic is currently only a global catastrophic risk, one below a true existential risk on its scale of risk analysis. We will be faced by true existential risks in the future, without doubt. Various allusions have been drawn between the current pandemic and the unfolding ecological crisis — the biggest existential risk humanity has yet faced. As a resident of Eora Nation, Sydney, Australia, who lived through the 2019 – 2020 bushfire season, one of unprecedented scale in which our government was grossly negligent in its responsibilities to the public, the inability of our current political-economic structures to address such existential risks seems all too apparent. No sooner had the catastrophic bushfire season ended and the smoke cleared than the pandemic began to rear its head on the horizon — the masks we used to protect ourselves against toxic bushfire smoke would be repurposed to serve as protection from the virus.” – Full text available here