An investigation into the affective modes of perception, temporality, and experience enabled by experimental new media sonic art.
The sonic has come to occupy center stage in the arts and humanities. In the age of computational media, sound and its subcultures can offer more dynamic ways of accounting for bodies, movements, and events. In The Rhythmic Event, Eleni Ikoniadou explores traces and potentialities prompted by the sonic but leading to contingent and unknowable forces outside the periphery of sound. She investigates the ways in which recent digital art experiments that mostly engage with the virtual dimensions of sound suggest alternate modes of perception, temporality, and experience. Ikoniadou draws on media theory, digital art, and philosophical and technoscientific ideas to work toward the articulation of a media philosophy that rethinks the media event as abstract and affective.
The Rhythmic Event seeks to define the digital media artwork as an assemblage of sensations that outlive the space, time, and bodies that constitute and experience it. Ikoniadou proposes that the notion of rhythm—detached, however, from the idea of counting and regularity—can unlock the imperceptible, aesthetic potential enveloping the artwork. She speculates that addressing the event on the level of rhythm affords us a glimpse into the nonhuman modalities of thought proper to the digital and hidden in the gaps between strict definitions (e.g., human/sonic/digital) and false dichotomies (e.g., virtual/real). Operating at the margins of perception, the rhythmic artwork summons an obscure zone of sonic thought, which considers the event according to its power to become.
Ikoniadou's The Rhythmic Event provides a substantial Deleuzian analysis of contemporary digital sound art, and her work stands as an important contribution to a new materialist understanding of the digital, particularly the affective experiences that digital audio is capable of eliciting from a body.
—InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture