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  • Writer's pictureDivya S

Angel / Composition no.2 - No.3

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Angel / Composition no.2-no.3, is an experimental project questioning the origin of sounds within internal hearing/listening. The project is formulated out of questions pertaining to psychic access, memory and consciousness. Upon observing that when one is thinking, one is actually listening - I became curious about the music that I could hear which hadn't yet been composed by a foreign human entity and began to wonder how one receives information such as the structure of a melody, or a poem, and how this event is distinguishably different from thinking (which involves a certain level of invention, reflection and analysis) and that to correctly articulate this kind of listening which piqued my interest, would be to say that one is in fact, receiving. *

Initially the name of this project was 'Sounds from the Attic', which I later changed to 'Angel' because both my understanding and my access to the source of this mysterious information opened up further over time, transforming from mysterious, unknowable occurrences into ontological fibres that could be traced to some degree and traced back to metaphysical zones, and in turn reveal parallel temporalities despite and in spite of neurological / psychological processes that form /constitute/ bind consciousness and reality. This heightened access, is what in Ettingerian terms I refer to within the project as the Matrixial Gaze, which is one's psychic access to non-ontic, non-ocular realms.To be able to 'receive' otherworldly information or inspiration, I imagined beings/entities that could ideally move across various zones delivering an echo or a whisper, hence the name Angel. * While the ontical evaluation of accessible, factual reality and Material monism are important, the project seeks to locate an ontological entity (origin of Sound) that I locate within the noumenal world, which in Ettingerian terms, I refer to as my 'Screen of Reality' and which becomes the ground that I build further upon.The nature of the project falls within the domain of the spiritual, and the inquiry as well as the emphasis within this project -pertaining to sound, psychic access, and memory- rests upon the metaphysical and the ontological aspects of reality.

* Theoretically, within my inquiry and/or this project, I refer to the concepts of artist-philosopher, Bracha Ettinger who articulated psychic zones and structures in her academic work and artistic practice. Her main concepts, pertinent to my own inquiry, are concepts of what she terms as The Matrixial. Within the Matrixial (The Matrixial Borderspace)- which is a metaphysical zone - Ettinger conceptualized the existence of certain ontological structures such as borderspaces, which are accessed through an internal psychic gaze. These non-ontic, non-ocular realms which are borderlinked form a web, which she calls the Matrixial Web. The Matrixial web is one that weaves together the various zones or borderspaces that exist ontologically within the matrixial and become the sites of transgenerational transfers. This is a web through which transferences/transmissions occur across various temporalities (There is an understanding of something that resembles a transgenerational neural network) . These are what Ettinger refers to as 'transsubjective transfers' which in her case she recognizes as conduits and parcels of 'psychic pain' and trauma, however, very importantly she describes the nature of these transfers as being scattered, which is to say that one receives in broken pieces and in non-uniform consistencies psychically and temporally. This is an important part of the process of borderlinking. So our Time, which I will call 'regular' is shaped by these transfers, since it is through these transfers that one learns of an umbilical cord of sorts that one has linked to the universe. To me, the scattered nature of what one receives psychically, is marked by glitching, and noise within the process of borderlinking, that is further incorporated and weaved into our sense-perceptions and inner experiences. The non-uniform scattered bits of information, memory, psychic materials that one gains, are materials that cannot be fully articulated or even analyzed. That is their nature. It is interesting to note (according to Baudrillard) that to analyze means to dissolve, and it is quite clear that there are elements in this world, that are simply insoluble. *

* For my own purposes, within this project I remove the context of trauma from the premise, and instead imagine ubiquitous data/information being transferred - to be able to look more at the discreet apparatus of the matrixial system. I am intrigued by this web-like ontological being/entity/structure that allows one to receive information psychically, as image and sound. I link this transgenerational transference and such transferences with otherworldly 'power'. "Transsubjectivity is an ontology of string-like subject-subject(trans-subjective) and subject-object (transjective) transmissivity and affective co-emergence." * To produce the verisimilitude and fidelity of the information received through psychic access to such a network, is a herculean effort. So much so, that one can mourn the loss of the pure image, or sound, or truth that one has been unable to recreate. My perception of Ettinger's structure and it's premise might point to a degree of a holozoic or panpsychic monism, however, this project is more or less a recognition of the cosmic infrastructure, the apparatuses that enable entering the unseen, the unknowable, the indescribable... (which is mitigated by entities, that act as in-between agents, lest one is overcome by sensory overload...) It is the evasive, occulted quality of these metaphysical zones or realms (which could be regarded and have been historically as well as poetically imagined as 'pure' realms in terms of their contents: vision, light/darkness, sound etc.) that reveal the limitations of our earthly senses and access, but also highlight a difference in temporalities. The difference in the temporalities of the perceptible and imperceptible, is the ability to articulate one's experience: The experience of witnessing a 'pure' realm/metaphysical zone is temporally a zone in and of itself, which one either falls into or returns from. To articulate the experience of having glimpsed or accessed a domain beyond one's own reality without becoming overwhelmed and/or losing the ability to do so in 'regular' time requires a certain death. One dies the minute they experience a reality outside their own, and if one returns from such a zone, one has died to an old self. This death marks and warps Time. , * I look at these concepts to further understand what it means to create both with, and without having prerequisite content/ideas from 'regular' time and/or the technical training to be able to compose images or sounds in a sequence that would produce music (or beauty). My question from the very beginning of this project was: How did we arrive at all this knowledge, where does it all come from?

The Ontical that takes place in 'regular' time cannot be left out of the equation, naturally, because much of what occurs within human consciousness needs materiality in order to be experienced and articulated. Since I'm also looking at memory as a key aspect of my inquiry, I do take into account the biological/neurological and psychological nature (and function) of different kinds of memory and how they contribute to perception, and to consciousness as a whole (which then forms one's reality within the phenomenal world of the consensual real) "Memory is the cognitive process of storing information and retrieving it later. The main types of memory include sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory." The types of memory that I look into are: Echoic and Iconic (Sensory+Short Term) and Semantic and Episodic memory (Explicit+Long-Term) .1. Echoic "Echoic memory, or auditory sensory memory, is a type of sensory memory. It’s the ultra-short-term memory of auditory stimuli that one has just heard. For a brief time, about 4 seconds, the brain registers and temporarily stores a perfect version of the sounds around oneself until it’s processed...The sounds around oneself enter the echoic memory piece by piece. This helps one to understand words in the context of a sentence and notes in the context of a song. Though it lasts for only a few seconds, echoic memory helps to remember the auditory information even after it has ended." 2. Iconic "Iconic memory is the form of sensory memory—memory responsible for storing short-term impressions and sensations—related to visual stimuli. Sensory memory is ultra-short-term memory that lasts only milliseconds for most people. Because snap impressions of scenes are used to round out perceptions and reach conclusions regarding visual cues, iconic memory can be vital to our ability to interpret our surroundings and determine when things are askew."

"Persistence refers to the continuation of a visual impression even after the stimuli have passed. It is thought to be the main mechanism underlying the function of iconic memory. Three types of persistence have been implicated in visual stimuli and iconic memory tasks: neural persistence, visible persistence, and informational persistence.

Neural persistence occurs when your neural activity continues after the stimuli are gone. Visible persistence is when you continue to see the image after it is gone, such as with a bright flash of light. Informational persistence is when information about the visual stimuli is still available to you for some time after the stimuli are gone. * "Visual and auditory information are processed in different ways because they’re experienced differently. Visual stimuli tend to last for much longer, allowing you the opportunity to view repeatedly. Unless the sound is repeated, you may not experience it again. "

* 3. Semantic

"In psychology, semantic memory is memory for meaning – in other words, the aspect of memory that preserves only the gist, the general significance, of remembered experience.refers to general world knowledge that humans have accumulated throughout their lives. This general knowledge (word meanings, concepts, facts, and ideas) is intertwined in experience and dependent on culture. We can learn about new concepts by applying our knowledge learned from things in the past"

4. Episodic

"Episodic memory is memory for the ephemeral details – the individual features, or the unique particulars of experience. Episodic memory is the memory of everyday events (such as times, location geography, associated emotions, and other contextual information) that can be explicitly stated or conjured. It is the collection of past personal experiences that occurred at particular times and places. One of the main components of episodic memory is the process of recollection, which elicits the retrieval of contextual information pertaining to a specific event or experience that has occurred."

(Displayed above is a rough three page illustrated manual or sorts that I made, giving myself step-by-step instructions in order to be able to retain composition no.2and to be able to play it more than once) Using all the processes, structures and constructs/concepts mentioned thus far (encompassing the Metaphysical, the Ontological and the Ontical) I made two videos, within which I explore automatic playing (noodling) on a mini keyboard (No. 2), and a ukulele (No.3). No. 3 is an audiovisual representation of the process of Borderlinking (Sonic variations, scattered visual cues/memories, glitching/noise) whereas No.2 is a representation of The Matrixial web as my 'Screen of Reality'. Both of these videos also represent the Matrixial Gaze.


This project is a part of the Sound Lab Exhibition, helmed by Maure Coise and Sepideh Majidi. As part of the exhibition, these two videos from my project exist virtually as Orbs/Monads interacting with other similar worlds/Orbs/Monads within the Sound Lab virtual platform on New Art City.


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