Home > Bibliography > Bibliography (English) > Organised Sound (1996-) > Vol. 3, No. 1. 1998 > Technology and Pierre Schaeffer: Pierre Schaeffer’s Arts-Relais, (...)

Palombini, Carlos

Technology and Pierre Schaeffer: Pierre Schaeffer’s {Arts-Relais}, Walter Benjamin’s {technische Reproduzierbarkeit} and Martin Heidergger’s {Ge-stell}


Sunday 10 July 2005, by Leigh Landy

Pierre Schaeffer’s notion of Arts-Relais highlights aesthetic fissures in the passage from manual to mechanical techniques of sound production, fixation and reproduction. The Arts-Relais ‘instrument’ is a case of what Walter Benjamin terms technische Reproduzierbarkeit, and there is a close resemblance between the two roles of that instrument and the two manifestations of technische Reproduzierbarkeit as expounded by Benjamin. Furthermore, the Arts-Relais instrument materialises the shift from ‘older handwork technology’ to that technology which, in the words of Martin Heidegger, unlocks, transforms, stores up, distributes and switches about the energies of nature, and whose essence he terms Ge-stell. As befits an Homage to Schaeffer, this essay improvises ‘new uses for things originally meant for something else’ (Schaeffer and Hodgkinson), according to the rule of bricolage.

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