ARK: About Drum Machines as Sonic Cartographies


Sound Lecture Performance mit dem Kollektiv ARK auf dem CTM Festival Berlin

The history of Drum Machines is a story of piracy, of clones, and of the simulation of simulations // Music boxes were very popular in the Chinese Emperor’s court over the 17th and 18th centuries. They became a very important element of missionary politics and Western diplomacy // Swiss Jesuits created the first „fake“ music boxes // The preset switchboard of the music box named Maestro Rhythm King, which has buttons such as „Latin“, „American“, and „Traditional“, is a display of the Black Atlantic – a post-colonial atlas // „Latin Rhythms“ are also an invention of Japanese electronic engineers in the 60s. The rhythm machine is a tradition-engraving machine // „Drum Machines have no soul!“ – reads a sticker created by John Wood in California. It was his attempt to counteract his fear of the „Dehumanization of American Music“ // The ambiguity created by a music-making machine can surely unsettle people interested in strict realities and fixed identities such as that of „American Music“ // The history of technical automata is a history of fear and of fascination. Of a fascination with the Other. Of a fear of humans being replaced by machines. Of a fear of deceit.

Von und mit: Johannes Ismaiel-Wendt, Sebastian Kunas, Malte Pelleter. Sprecherin: Sarah-Indriyati Hardjowirogo. Mit Beiträgen von Jasmin Meerhoff und Pedro Oliveira.

ARK (Arkestrated Rhythmachine Complexities) is a changing association of musicians, producers, writers, scientists, and electronic MusickingThings, who*which perform heterochronicity and multi-track knowledge, looking for post-representative sound formats. It consists, among other humans and non-humans, of Johannes Ismaiel-Wendt, Sebastian Kunas, and Malte Pelleter. Since 2018 its installations and sound lecture performances were presented at Museum für Kunst & Gewerbe (Hamburg), HBK Braunschweig, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), CTM Festival (Berlin), and ifa-Galerie (Berlin).

Titelbild: Videostill aus „SideMan Inside Blackbox Disco“ von Jasmin Meerhoff
Fotos: Andres Bucci