An/Aesthetics: A Lecture-Performance

Luis-Manuel Garcia, Brandon LaBelle

Research output: Non-textual formPerformance


What is an experience? Seemingly numb due to the overload of information, stimuli, and sensory possibilities that characterize our contemporary world, where experiences are packaged, sold, and consumed, the question of ?aesthetics? emerges with ever greater urgency today. What is good and beautiful, what counts as authentic? Are these concepts still relevant? Rather than arguing for an ideal of experience, or a universal measure, perhaps it is worth going back to the physicality of being in the world, a ?bass materialism? that addresses the incessant noise of the world and our immersion within its soundstream. Vibrations connect and collect us. They help us make sense of movement, tracing the resonances that exist between material and immaterial, psyche and flesh. In this session, we will traverse a range of experiential modes, pulsing instances of ?being alive? through encountering music, sound, vibration, touch, and forceful impact. In exploring how vibrations propagate, radiate, and strike an ever-expanding field of ?vibrant matter,? we aim to better understand how vibration can bring a heterogeneous set of actors into synchrony and mutual resonance. A key aspect of this dynamic is the shared experience of vibration: even if the qualities of this experience vary from one perceiver to another, the mere fact of being together in the event provides a ground for articulating a sense of collectivity, an aesthetics based in the tangible, material world.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2014


  • Aesthetics
  • Sound Studies
  • Embodiment
  • Texture
  • Tactility
  • Memory


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