Marcus Schmickler | Comfort Station | Experimental | Chicago Reader
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Marcus Schmickler Recommended Soundboard All Ages

When: Thu., March 13, 7 p.m. 2014
Lately German sound artist Marcus Schmickler has been developing an interest in sonification, which involves the use of sound to represent information; this treatment can allow for an enhanced or alternate understanding of data relationships. The forthcoming Politiken der Frequenz (due April 15 from Editions Mego) is a collaboration between Schmickler and Julian Rohrhuber, an academic who works in media theory and music informatics. I can’t pretend to understand the theoretical underpinnings of the project, but the press materials say it was inspired in part by a 1990 book by French philosopher Alain Badiou, Le Nombre et Les Nombres (which I haven’t read). Politiken der Frequenz explores the number as a shared “fundamental object” of music and economics (in which contexts it often functions as something abstract and immutable) and looks for other ways to think about and represent the numerical. Prerecorded voices intone numbers and texts, some of them derived from Badiou’s book, that interrupt Schmickler’s bracing electronic tones as they move from abrasive white noise to unmoored, squiggly sine waves to vibrating drones. Tonight's performance is presented by Lampo, and will be followed by a discussion with Schmickler. He also performs at the Graham Foundation on Sat 3/15 at 8 PM. —Peter Margasak

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