Sound and silence, about the complex monad: Study on John Cage, Myung Mi Kim, and Leslie Scalapino
Choi, Hee Jion
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"Forming Sonic Space Building Complex Monad of Us Well-Beings" This research aims to reveal the problems of conventional dyadic ideas in regards to sound and proposes the unity of the dyadic opposites. The ground structure of this unity is characterized as a "complex monad" in an emphasis of harmonious status among homogeneous constituents within a single structure. The subject analysis of this research is sound. Sound will be analyzed as a spatial form of the generative force to constantly spatialize itself, by pushing the dyadic limit of "sound and silence", "sound and noise", and "sound and language". In this act of sonic spatialization, the dyadic norm will be demonstrated as not only undesirable but also unsustainable. The main poetic texts for the analysis are John Cage's 0'00" (1962) and 4'33" (1952), Myung Mi Kim's River Antes (2006) and Leslie Scalapino's The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom (2010). The main concepts of this research, then, (1) sound as a spatial form and (2) a complex monad. Sound as a spatial form focuses on the mechanism of the sonic spatialization, in order to examine how sound is formed as an impetus and a product. A complex monad is relayed by the mechanism of sound as a spatial form as a term of necessity. If sound as a spatial form aims to reveal the process of how the sonic dyadic demarcation is canceled, a complex monad is suggested as an ideal sonic structure, which could realize harmony in dynamics, instead of conflict of dyadic domination and suppression. The ultimate subject of this examination is human sound, as we humans produce various sounds in us, by us and of us as living thus moving organicity. It includes works of music and language of these three contemporary American poet-artists, John Cage, Myung Mi Kim, and Leslie Scalapino. First, John Cage, with a sonic spatial form equally open to both sound and silence (and sound and noise), depicts the binary (op-)positionality as a fiction, made by power-oriented convention. Second, Kim, with an illustration of spatializing transitional and transitive sonic (tran-)script of an International Phonetic Alphabet ([ ]) and pure graphic marks (., /, //), teases the (mis-)conceptual binary oppositionality. Third, Scalapino, in a caricature of off-balanced space, depicts space as unstable, thus, unable to hold the acoustic happening ( i.e., history) and its inscription ( i.e., language) as it is, but an illusive and elusive phenomenon. Overall, the analysis of the poetic texts aims to render a strong proposal for the current structure of life to be re -read and re -examined in order to be re stituted and re parated.