Acceleration, Speculation and Techno Futures: Benjamin Noys (UK) & Emile Frankel (AUS)

Benjamin Noys and Emile Frankel discuss the possibilities of techno and electronic music for imagining the future in a time of crisis. Climate change, capitalist crisis, and the rise of new reactionary movements all suggest a bleak future. Can the accelerations of techno and global experimental club culture offer new speculative futures beyond crisis? What does the changing, decentralising conditions of post-internet sound and listening do for contemporary ventures in electronic music?

Benjamin Noys is Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Chichester (UK). His most recent book, Malign Velocities: Accelerationism and Capitalism (2014), includes a discussion of Detroit techno and accelerationism. He is the author of the first academic article on jungle and drum’n’bass, has written widely on accelerationism and dance music, and has recently written a piece on Techno Futurism: Dead Detroit Lies Dreaming.

Emile Frankel is a writer and composer interrogating the socio-political ramifications of post-internet sound and listening. With a Master of Music from the Royal Conservatorium of the Netherlands, Emile’s practice as a composer leaks into his writing—informing an original cross-examination of music sounding in our age of looming political and ecological crisis. Writing in a style which posits fictional voices against actual ones, Emile tries to reflect the speculative quality of all sound. His approach reveals the space outside the waveform, the consequences for presenting fiction in music, for imagining a future and placing it directly in the ear. Emile’s first book Hearing the Cloud is to be published early 2018.

Moderating the discussion is Wassim Alsindi, a photophysics PhD, music curator and arbitrageur with a speculative affinity for radically decentralised technologies, crypto-anarchy and post-global digitalism.