At this performance, writer Alexander Provan will tell of a typical “expert listener” undergoing a test meant to refine the compression algorithms that underlie all digital media. He will place the audience within the sensorium of a middle-aged, white audiophile whose favorite band is King Crimson and whose memories of listening to ABBA while cruising Indiana highways cannot be vanquished, though his ears train on the audio file’s frequency response. He is tasked with determining what sound should sound like, but he cannot turn himself into a listening machine. In narrating the experience of the expert listener, Provan will describe how we produce and experience culture in the form of digital files, how imperfect technological processes mold our conduct.
This event is copresented by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics.
Alexander Provan is Editor of Triple Canopy, a contributing editor of Bidoun, and a fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. His writing on digital culture, aesthetics, literature, and politics has appeared in Frieze, Artforum, Bookforum, Art in America, The Nation, and in several exhibition catalogues. His essay on art and the quantitative worldview, “Reality Formatting,” appears in the Triennial catalogue.