In partnership with aqnb, this month’s Unthinkable segment for NTS Radio from Lithuanian producer J.G. Biberkopf was recorded in Helsinki Airport. The mix itself, as well as the circumstances of its recording —against a busy schedule en route to Malaysia —correspond with concern for corporeality, questioning the nature of the physical body in terms of its relation to being. Is it possible to separate mind from body? Can the mind persist unaffected in a different elemental habitat? Specifically, it implicates the voice —conveyor of impressions to the mind —as occupant to bodily form.
Piloted by the voice and escorted by a post-human perspective, the mix follows a winding path, reflecting informational pathways that circulate between subject and surroundings and, in turn, question the outer limits of the subject. Taking off from pieces by Meredith Monk, Diamanda Galas, David Toop, and Trevor Wishart, it arrives at tracks by TCF, Sharp Veins, and Ryan Trecartin.
Listen to the mix and read the text below:
Is it possible to telegraph a human being? It is often imagined that the body can lose its material nature in place of information, with the potential to reassume bodily form at a different location. Illustratively, a machine vacuum suctions the skull, withdrawing information and transferring it to a computer, the body’s hollow is departed but the subject’s consciousness remains intact, albeit elementally transformed and resident in the chassis of the computer.
Separately, in silent film, actors’ movements express thought and emotion to counter an absence of speech. The voice, removed, reappears in the movements of the actor’s body. At the same time, the voice of God, typified in the Word, or the synthesized tongue bestowed to a computer program, without the effigy of human form, exemplify bodiless voices. As information loses its physical structure, the affinity of people and computers becomes accessible, as the material substance is subordinate to the essence of the substance that thinks.
The voice, in fact, has the same adaptability as a limb; a language can be built just as one exercises the body based on a specific physique. The voice, in other words, is a primordial theatre —a fragile layer in the thick of speech sounds and artistic, musical sounds. It is a representation of the universe, of mountains, of trees, of animals, and of rivers. The notion of a feedback loop, circulating between the subject and surroundings, also indicates that the outer limits of the subject are uncertain.
As such pathways connect the natural body to its supplementary appendages, an idea of information as an immaterial body is supposed, able to move between organic and electronic elements, making them function as one system. Hereby, bodily manifestation is accidental as opposed to inevitable. From this post-human perspective, the human being is constructed in a way that it is consistent with computers, whereby there is no vital disparity or division between physical and electronic presence. **
1. Francisco Lopez – La Selva
2. Geinoh Yamashirogumi – Tasogare No Yana (Yana in the Twilight)
3. Kongar-Ol Ondar – Tooruktug Dolgai Tangdym
4. Kongar-Ol Ondar – Bai-La-Tai-gam
5. David Bedford – Some Bright Stars For Queen’s College
6. Toru Takemitsu – Ki, Sora, Tori
7. Meredith Monk – Dolmen Music
8. Pharmakon – Primitive Struggle
9. Tatsuya Yoshida – Drums, Voice II
10. Cloud Rat – Rouge Park
11. Coil – Babylero
12. Geinoh Yamashirogumi – Doll’s Polyphony
13. Christian Marclay – Maria Callas
14. Diamanda Galas – This Is The Law of The Plague
15. The Residents – Birth
16. Geinoh Yamashirogumi – Mutation
17. David Toop – Apartment Thunder (Eros + Sacrifice)
18. Criminal Mane – Skit
19. AGF – Breathing In Lines
20. Haroumi Hosono – The First One In Heaven
21. Trevor Wishart – Vox 1
22. E_Scraaatch – Bae Do Right
23. Sharp Veins – Hail The Broken Choir
24. TCF – 6caec1f368219cTfd1c180hghf70f6jh54e1f0d08
25. Ryan Trecartin/Absurdist – Do I Sound Good
26. Trevor Wishart – Tongues of Fire
27. Holly Herndon – Lonely at The Top
28. Florian Hecker & Mark Leckey – Down
J.G. Biberkopf’s Unthinkable radio show airs at midnight on a Friday each month at London’s NTS Radio. This latest one aired October 2, 2015.
See here for more ‘Unthinkable’ mixes.