Allen S Weiss' work-in-progress
October 3rd 2012, 6PM
Villa Romana, Firenze
Third public lecture in the context of New landscapes | Sound stories from Tuscany.
Allen S. Weiss is a writer, translator, curator and playwright, and is the author and editor of over forty books in the fields of performance theory, landscape architecture, gastronomy, sound art and experimental theater.
He is currently working on a gastronomic autobiography, Métaphysique de la miette and teaches at New York University.
The borderline between music, sound and noise is constantly shifting and historically determined, sometimes moving just slightly (as in the acceptance of new harmonic possibilities, or new timbres, within the tonal system), sometimes changing with seismic shifts (atonality, dodecaphony, musique concrète). It is also culturally specific. A case in point is Japanese art, organized according to the wabi-sabi aesthetic of the tea ceremony, existing already for half a millenium. Here, not only are mimetic and allusive effects highly codified, but the very staging of the ceremony entails a profound sense of the interrelation between all the arts.
To compare this aesthetic field with that of the West suggests a broader and more flexible way to imagine systems of representation, reconsidered according to varying degrees, types, and levels of similitude and difference, distinctness and allusiveness, recognizability and obscurity.
Allen S. Weiss