vnm festival 2014 • sonic topographies
Oct 16-19 plus an exciting series of other events
Only on condition of a radical widening of definitions will it be possible for art and activities related to art [to] provide evidence that art is now the only evolutionary-revolutionary power. Only art is capable of dismantling the repressive effects of a senile social system that continues to totter along the deathline: to dismantle in order to build ‘A SOCIAL ORGANISM AS A WORK OF ART’… EVERY HUMAN BEING IS AN ARTIST who – from his state of freedom – the position of freedom that he experiences at first-hand – learns to determine the other positions of the TOTAL ART WORK OF THE FUTURE SOCIAL ORDER.
(Joseph Beuys 1973, first published in English in Caroline Tisdall: Art into Society, Society into Art, ICA, London, 1974, p.48.)
The truth is perhaps that Beethoven’s music has in it something inaudible (something for which hearing is not the exact locality), and this brings us to the second Beethoven. It is not possible that a musician be deaf by pure contingency or poignant destiny (they are the same thing). Beethoven’s deafness designates the lack where all signification is lodged: it appeals to a music not abstract or interior but endowed, one might say, with sensuous intelligibility, with an intelligibility somehow perceivable to the senses. This category is specifically revolutionary, inconceivable in terms of the old aesthetics; the oeuvre which accepts it cannot be received according to pure sensuality, which is always cultural, nor cultural according to an intelligible order which would be that of (rhetorical or thematic) development; without it, neither the modern text nor contemporary music can be accepted.
(Roland Barthes, from “Musica Practica”)