Mattin, "Social Dissonance" (MIT Press, 2022)

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We are not what we think we are. Our self-image as natural individuated subjects is determined behind our backs: historically by political forces, cognitively by the language we use, and neurologically by sub-personal mechanisms, as revealed by scientific and philosophical analyses.

Under contemporary capitalism, as the gap between this self-image and reality becomes an ever greater source of social and mental distress, these theoretical insights are potential dynamite. Shifting his explorations from the sonic to the social, amplifying alienation and playing with psychic noise, artist and performer Mattin finally lights the fuse.

The noise is here to stay. Alienation is a constitutive part of subjectivity and an enabling condition for exploring social dissonance—the territory upon which we already find ourselves, the condition we inhabit today.

Mattin speaks (and sings) to Pierre d’Alancaisez about his performance score Social Dissonance, in which the audience is the instrument and the legacy of the Marxist theory of alienation.

Mattin is an artist, musician and theorist working conceptually with noise and improvisation. Through his practice and writing, he explores performative forms of estrangement as a way to deal with structural alienation. Mattin has exhibited and toured worldwide.

He has performed in festivals such as Performa and Club Transmediale and lectured in institutions such as Dutch Art Institute, Cal Arts, Bard, and Goldsmiths. Mattin is part of the bands Billy Bao and Regler and has over 100 releases on different labels worldwide. He co-hosts the podcast Social Discipline. Mattin took part in 2017 in documenta14 in Athens and Kassel.

Pierre d’Alancaisez is a contemporary art curator, cultural strategist, researcher. Sometime scientist, financial services professional.

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