In 2012 Adam Harper published two clairvoyant articles in the British Dummy magazine, where he discusses the strategies and aesthetics applied by artists such as James Ferraro, Gatekeeper, Fatimah Al Qadiri, Tabor Robak, The Internet Club or New Dreams Ltd. as an accelerationist attempt to explore “the technological and commercial frontiers of 21st-century hyper-capitalism’s grimmest artistic sensibilities.” Harper leaves it undecided whether such attempts – which draw heavily from the glossy surfaces of cheap, synthetic consumer worlds, the over-stimulating thrill of modern entertainment, the hollowly clean spaces where business is conducted, and the amphetamine-fuelled macho fantasies of power and potency – should be seen as ironic, satirical, or truly accelerationist. The core of the accelerationist concept is that the collapse of our current civilisation is inevitable and hence should be brought forth sooner rather than later. Only after its collapse something different, eventually better, might come to replace it – or maybe not. Adam Harper’s lecture is followed by a conversation with Lisa Blanning.
Adam Harper is a music theorist, critic, and the author of the book Infinite Music. Imagining the Next Millennium of Human Music-Making (Zero Books, 2012), in which he speculates on how music may sound, and what forms it may take, in the future. A PhD student in musicology, Harper lectures and teaches at the University of Oxford, writes regularly for The Wire and Dummy, blogs on Rouge’s Foam, and gives interdisciplinary lectures and seminars at venues such as the Darmstadt Summer Courses in New Music and All Tomorrow’s Parties Festival, and on The Guardian’s ‘Music Weekly’ podcast series.
Lisa Blanning is an American writer and editor on music, art and culture. She is a former editor at The Wire Magazine in London and Electronic Beats in Berlin—the city she currently operates out of. She is especially engaged in movements in contemporary electronic music and digital art and culture.