Peter Ablinger was born in Schwanenstadt, Austria in 1959. He first studied graphic arts and became enthused with free jazz. He continued to study composition with Gösta Neuwirth and Roman Haubenstock-Ramati in Graz and Vienna. Since 1982 he has lived in Berlin, where he regularly initiates and conducts festivals and concerts. In 1988 he founded the Ensemble Zwischentöne. He has been a guest conductor of Klangforum Wien, United Berlin and the Ensemble of the Insel Musik. Peter Ablinger has been working as a freelance musician since 1990.
Peter Ablinger is among the few artists who works with noise devoid of symbolism (i.e. as a signifier for chaos, energy, entropy, disorder, uproar, protest, destruction, for everything or for eternity). Instead, Ablinger explores the nature of sound, time and space, usually considered the main components of music. His findings reveal some dubious conventions imagined to be irrefutable for music, recasting repetition and monotony, reduction and redundancy, density and entropy, as fundamental to musical perception.
culture and perception on the one side.
reality and the world on the other.
Perception is, like culture, something learned and therefore not identical for different people, cultural groups or historical times. Perception is the application of a culturally generated pattern of perceptions of the world. Thus, perception is an attempt at approximation – or indeed an over-simplification – depending on whether this pattern – our relationship with the world - is currently in the process of differentiation or abstraction. Perception and culture are therefore digital; in contrast to the analogous world. And how close we are able to approach the world depends so to speak on the pixel-size of our perceptive apparatus. “High resolution” means a realistic understanding of the world; low resolution an abstract relationship with reality. But however highly determined the resolution may be – never will our perception become analogous, never actually reach the world.
From this it follows that the contrast between differentiation and abstraction is in fact no contradiction but merely a gradual distinction along one and the same scale and, what’s more, it doesn’t allow for any kind of value judgement (closer is no better than further away) so that the perception of the finest nuances as well as the much coarser summarization of things are just different patterns with which we can equip ourselves; or tools which we can scale differently, according to usage. At one time, the – metaphorically speaking or not – “photorealistic” resolution and at another time, the abstraction of expanses of planes of colour will be the appropriate tool to explain the world to ourselves; to understand ourselves through the explanatory mechanism which creates the world for us.
postscript/(a preferred vision?)
In my imagination, art and the world stands in analogous opposition to “digital” culture - at least in successful art, at least the ideal of art: as something uncomprehended, also: incomprehensible, but as something which seems to be made exclusively for us to try to understand in order to comprehend whatever it is that we CAN comprehend; and beyond that and crucially that there is something which we CANNOT comprehend. (Peter Ablinger)