You Can’t Trust Music, interlude: Songs from Nano-Spectacular Space I

You Can’t Trust Music, interlude: Songs from Nano-Spectacular Space I


Courtesy of e-flux. 

July 4, 2022
You Can’t Trust Music, interlude: Songs from Nano-Spectacular Space I

e-flux presents You Can’t Trust Music, interlude: Songs from Nano-Spectacular Space I, by Jessika Khazrik.

In the interlude between chapter 1 and 2 of YCTM, Jessika Khazrik’s multi-track space anti-opera, Songs from a Nano-Spectacular Space I details circumstances leading to the violent and unnatural weaponization of the atmosphere taking place at the height of the cold war and informing present-day policies. Interspersed throughout the research text is a musical score understood through the nano-spectacular space and its actors. A paranoid ring of copper needles encircles the earth, piercing its atmosphere. An army of phantomic, atomicized veterans whose bodies registered the experiments they witnessed, keep the memory of the world. “The history, health and environmental impacts of military nuclear violence is a history of anthropogenic uncertainty—a collective eclipse blindness. Nano-, tera-, atto-, yocto-, yotta-, even the mathematician who developed the mathematical models behind the explosive lenses of the Manhattan Project saw war as an avoidable policy that would need to be eliminated to ensure survival.“ That mathematician, John Von Neuman writes: “After global climate control becomes possible, perhaps all our present involvements will seem simple. We should not deceive ourselves: once such possibilities become actual, they will be exploited.” By registering the effects of warfare and radiation, people and places tell stories that governments would prefer to remain hidden.

This contribution stems out of the fieldwork Jessika Khazrik conducted around the Lincoln Laboratory during her studies at MIT and the ensuing 8-channel space anti-opera Terrella Al-2ard Al-Saghira (2017) that she developed as a student there. Research and songs around Project West Ford were produced with funding from the ACT Pilot Grant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Following up on sonic records of the Fukushima disaster, through an exploration of cold war anxieties, fantasies of UFOs, the sounds of the cosmos, natural satellites, and moonbounce technology in previous chapters, Khazrik’s interlude brings to light the prickly aftermath of human intervention into outer space, its effects on the planet, and the human bodies that have become entangled with radioactive material keeping score.

You Can’t Trust Music (YCTM) presented by e-flux is a research project connecting sound-based artists, musicians, writers, composers and writers and exploring the way that landscape, acoustics and musical thought contribute to the formation of social and political structures. It is presented on a platform designed by Knoth&Renner and developed by Knoth&Renner with Jonas Holfeld.

YCTM on is made possible with funding from the Canada Council for the Arts. It is produced by e-flux and developed in partnership with M WOODS, NTT InterCommunication Center (ICC), Liquid Architecture, Kunsthall Trondheim, and Infrasonica.

YCTM is curated by Xenia Benivolski. 

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July 4, 2022

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