Logic of Experimentation

Reshaping Music Performance in and through Artistic Research

Paulo de Assis (Author),

Series: Orpheus Institute Series

Category: Artistic Practice, Music

Language: English

ISBN: 9789462701380

Publication date: October 29, 2018

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Number of pages: 260

Size: 285 x 19 x 15 mm

Number of illustrations: 10

Illustrations and other content description:
10 black & white images Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content

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Series: Orpheus Institute Series

Category: Artistic Practice, Music

Language: English

DOI: 10.11116/9789461662507

ISBN: 9789461662507

Publication date: October 19, 2018

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Number of pages: 260

Number of illustrations: 10

Illustrations and other content description:
10 black & white images Guaranteed Peer Reviewed Content


Logic of Experimentation offers several innovative and ground-breaking perspectives on music performance, music ontology, research methodologies and ethics of performance.

Beyond interpretation: a proposal for experimental performance practices

Logic of Experimentation offers several innovative and ground-breaking perspectives on music performance, music ontology, research methodologies and ethics of performance. It proposes new modes of thinking and exposing past musical works to contemporary audiences, arguing for a new kind of performer, emancipated from authoritative texts and traditions, whose creativity is propelled by intensive research and inventive imagination. Moving beyond the work-concept, Logic of Experimentation presents a new image of musical works, based upon the notions of strata, assemblage and diagram, advancing innovative practice-based methodologies that integrate archival and musicological research into the creative process leading to a performance. Beyond representational modes of performance—be it mainstream or historically informed performance practices—Logic of Experimentation creates an ontological, methodological and ethical space for experimental performance practices, arguing for a new mode of performance. Written in an experimental style, its eight chapters appropriate music performance concepts from post-structural philosophy, psychoanalysis, science and technology studies, epistemology and semiotics, displaying how transdisciplinarity is central to artistic research. An indispensable contribution to artistic research in music, Logic of Experimentation is compelling reading for music performers, composers, musicologists, philosophers and artist researchers alike.

Ebook available in Open Access.
This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Preface: A Transdisciplinary Conjuncture

Introduction: Experimentation versus Interpretation

Part 1. Assemblage Theory for Music

Chapter 1: Virtual Works—Actual Things

Rasch — The limits of music philosophy and the role of artistic

research — Music ontologies: some problems — Beyond

transcendence: approaching a Deleuzian ontology — Virtual

works, actual things: towards a new image of musical work —

Strata — Rasch25: . . . vers la nuit

Chapter 2: Assemblage, Strata, Diagram

Musical works as assemblages — Agencement, logic of assemblage,

assemblage theory — Intermezzo: a note on translation —

From structure to assemblage — Strata — Diagram — Logic of


Part 2: Experimental Systems in Music

Chapter 3: Experimental Systems and Artistic Research

An epistemology for artistic research? — A methodology for

artistic research — Hans-Jörg Rheinberger’s experimental systems

— Thought collective and ensembles of experimental systems:

MusicExperiment21 — Series of experiments and modules of


Chapter 4: Epistemic Complexity in Music Performance

Complexity and epistemic complexity — Epistemic complexity

in biology — Epistemic complexity in technology — Epistemic

complexity in music — Experimentation in music performance:

how to make the future?

Part 3. Beyond Interpretation: Bodies-in-Action

Chapter 5: Transduction and the Body as a Transducer

Transduction in music performance: relaying f lows of intensities;

— Gilbert Simondon’s various definitions of transduction —

Discharge (potentiality); — Passage (time and temporality);

— Energy (thermodynamics): potential, scales, entropy

— Information theory: structural germs and singularities

(structuration) — Haecceity: from haecceitas (Duns Scotus) to

eccéité (Simondon) to heccéité (Deleuze and Guattari) to microhaecceity

— Topology: in-formation — Corporeality: somatic

transduction — Permanent transduction: being-in-the-world and

fluctuatio animi; 11. Conclusion

Chapter 6: Rasch26: The Somatheme

The somatheme — Roland Barthes at the piano: musica practica

The impact of Julia Kristeva: phenotext and genotext —

New musical concepts: geno-song, pheno-song, somatheme —

Intermezzo: fourteen somathemes — The impact of Jacques

Lacan: signifier and jouissance — Lacan’s desire — Situating the

somatheme within Lacan’s graphs of desire — Conclusion: artistic

research and transdisciplinarity

Part 4. A New Ethics of Performance

Chapter 7: The Emancipated Performer:

Musical Renderings and Power Relations

Music performance and power relations — The dominant image

of work and the problem of interpretation — The tacit authorities:

Deleuze’s “Postscript on the Societies of Control” — Nietzsche’s

three modes of relation to history: monumental, antiquarian,

critical — A new image of work — The emancipated performer

Chapter 8. . . . at the borders of time that surround our presence . . .

What is the contemporary? — Agamben’s contemporary: Barthes

reading Nietzsche — Nietzsche’s untimely: lost in translation —

. . . at the border of time that surrounds our presence . . . — Artistic

research as the carrier of the contemporary

Appendix 1: Beyond Urtext: A Dynamic Conception of Musical Editing

On notation and time — The urtext era — Urtext editions: an

epistemological obstacle — Critical editing of music and different

types of editions — Music editing and performance practice: a

dynamic conception

Appendix 2: The Conditions of Creation and the Haecceity of Musical Material: Philosophical-Aesthetic Convergences between Helmut Lachenmann and Gilles Deleuze

Helmut Lachenmann and Gilles Deleuze: an unconnected

connection — Helmut Lachenmann: toward an aestheticostructural

methodology — Helmut Lachenmann’s three “theses”

on composing — Gilles Deleuze’s diagnostic function of art, capture

of forces, and body without organs: first convergences with Helmut

Lachenmann — Helmut Lachenmann’s four conditions of the

musical material — Gilles Deleuze’s opinion, corporeity, fold, and

latitude: further convergences with Helmut Lachenmann — The

conditions of creation and the haecceity of musical material: a

philosophical-aesthetic Erewhon



Paulo de Assis

Paulo de Assis is artist researcher (pianist, composer, music philosopher) and research fellow at the Orpheus Institute.

“This is an outstanding book in every way. It demarcates a new field—that of artistic research as an experimental activity—and then provides an original theoretical framework within which to relate the field to music. All the chapters address issues that transcend music and are of great import for aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, ontology, psychoanalytic theory, and cultural theory.” - Ronald Bogue, University of Georgia, US

“Reading Logic of Experimentation is an intellectual adventure. The reader comes away with a much more flexible and more powerful context for engaging in performance as scholarship, corporeality, and the manifestation of energy.” - Neely Bruce, Wesleyan University, US

This is a remarkable work, rich in ideas and provocative in its conclusions. Assis offers a transformative approach to music performance, which serves as a paradigmatic instance of artistic research. But he also provides the conceptual framework for a general ontology and epistemology of art, one that has implications well beyond the domain of music. This is a book that deserves the attention of researchers throughout the disciplines of the arts, humanities and social sciences.
Bogue, Ronald, jar-online.net. 19/12/2019. https://doi.org/10.22501/jarnet.0023

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