The Struggle Hears and Plays All That We Forget Is Still Happening

Deeply moved by the recent social movements of strikes against austerity that have troubled the quietude of Quebec’s society, we desire to explore the affective territories opened by these recent struggles.

If art is a “capture of forces” (Deleuze 2002), music can be understood as a way to make heard the sound of events, their vibrational materiality. Music: a mode of thought in its own right that allows reflections of the sonic dimension of actuality but that also creates new virtual, incorporeal universes (Guattari 2013). Our proposition asks, How can music express the sound of politics, the ambiance of the different manifestations of power, and the sonic dimensions of particular political struggles? Such refraction of loss and endless potential is, as Guattari insists, art in its instinctual procession—a procession that invites a variety of subjectivities, including those closely located in human, musical, and environmental spatialities. Sound can in some ways be thought of as a dark precursor of political dynamics—harmonic nodes vibrating from the rebirth already present in the birth of the common. The countless subjectivities in social movements express themselves sonically, with music tracing feeling’s material repetitions, dramatising its arc, playing on and between its overt over-concreteness, thereby displaying the potentialities of an unclear, subconscious process against the authority of “a clear subject” (Guattari 2000). The sound of politics is in the echo of its undeniable materiality, in the decay where its materiality is modulated: not in the front-page headline but in the ink that bleeds through from an edition that was never printed.

We propose a collective experimentation that aims to hear, think, and create around the sound of the strike movements, their refrains, their rhythms, their resonances, in an attempt to share the intensity of the evanescent common that occurred. Our performance will consist of improvisatory co-compositions utilising guitars, a cello, amplifiers, a projector, voice, and sound alteration technologies. The focus on the sonic texture being composed will be maintained by slowly increasing the presence of darkness in the room as well as designing visual projections that function more as negative space than as visual objects. Paying attention to these tools, to their non-beginning, prehuman locations, we are interested in improvising with movement, repetition, language (French and English, performatively) and sonic reformulations of the immanent physical space of the conference. We seek modes of research-creation that stretch sound and sound-capture between a political event’s many non-happenings and its leftover insistent scar of “one thing having happened.”


Deleuze, Gilles. 2002. Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation. 2nd ed. Paris: Editions du Seuil.

Guattari, Félix. 2000. Three Ecologies. Translated by Ian Pindar and Paul Sutton. London: Athlone Press.

—. 2013. Schizoanalytic Cartographies. Translated by Andrew Goffey. London: Bloomsbury.