Bill Laswell’s Undocument



Photo by Michael Hoefner

If you look for it, you find it.

DJ Spooky that subliminal kid, was the first musician I encountered (over the virtualosphere) whose music is derived from deep philosophical strucutres. I first read DJ Spooky’s essays, then I listened to his music. DJ Spooky is a great philosophical mediator.

This is to say that I had my initiation. While searching for Hakim Bey, I stumbled upon a joint venture between Bey and Laswell (Chaos from T.A.Z). Then I checked out Laswell to whom I listened in those great acne days but not in the last decade or so, and I found this artwork named undocument.

Now, if you follow my other blogs, you know my sympathy to Dave Winer’s language tweaks, i.e. uncoference. The un- prefix has become, through Winer, a way to describe the matter and its anti-matter in a single word: it is a conference, but it is not what you would expect from a conference (it is a deconstructioned word).

And here’s what Laswell is saying about the music in undocument:

Realizations achieved in Bill Laswell’s domain are decontextualized and prepared for release into the world of chaos and chance. […]

These are source materials for the creation of modern music. Assimilate them, reprocess them, recombine them – the original intent of the sounds on this CD-ROM will disintegrate, as new meanings – your meanings – emerge intact.

It is fantastic: a form-less music; pure content kept in autonomous zones, to which anyone can apply a meaning. And still, like most of the paradoxial truisms, this formless matter is packed (i.e. subject to a form) in an undocument, which is and at the same time is not a documentation of all those matters. Probably, the meaning of undocument is that the packaging nevertheless keeps the autonomic nature of its embeddded content.

You can listen to a great sample, named dance at the bottom of this page.

One Response to “Bill Laswell’s Undocument”

  1. sydferret Says:

    In my day, we didn’t expect so much from the audience.

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