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sic! | Paulo C. Chagas – Artist talk – Vortragsabend

Paulo C. Chagas

sic! – sound in context – lecture series

[Translate to English:]

Sound, Truth, and Paradigm … Imaginations

Location: Elektronisches Studio, TU Berlin, Einsteinufer 17c 10587 Berlin

Start: 19:00


In this talk Chagas will present his research on phenomenology of sound and music focused on the notions of truth and paradigm. It begins with Heidegger’s view of art as a tool for achieving truth, followed by Kuhn’s ideas on advances in science by way of paradigms and revolutions. The notion of paradigm as a disciplinary matrix leads to a comparative approach between science and art, aiming to observe similarities and differences. With a brief look at Wittgenstein’s concept of the language game, Chagas will examine the notions of paradigm and signature in Agamben’s philosophical archeology. Three cultural paradigms within the history of Western music are explored: vocal, instrumental, and electroacoustic. Delving into the notion of apparatus as a process of subjectivation, we will investigate how the electroacoustic paradigm builds capacity for apparatuses to expand consciousness of sound phenomena. A paradigm shift has occurred from a subjective hermeneutic view of the world, to a thinking shaped by cybernetics and information theory. The automaticity of music apparatuses is viewed through several lenses, including the way that the electroacoustic paradigm inaugurated the era of music as a torture apparatus. Flusser’s notion of the telematic paradigm highlights the communicative complexity of modern society and the idea of chamber music as a model for dialogic telematic communication. As illustration on my artistic output, Chagas will present Sound Imaginations, a recent work that explores the concepts of listening cultures and audiovisual immersion.


Paulo C. Chagas is professor of composition at the University of California, Riverside. He created more than 190 works for orchestra, chamber music, electroacoustic, audiovisual and multimedia. His works resulted from numerous commissions and have been acclaimed in the United States, Europe, Russia, Asia and Brazil. Chagas develops extensive research in music semiotics, philosophy, electroacoustics, audiovisual composition, and telematic music. His book Unsayable Music (Leuven University Press, 2014) presents theoretical, critical and analytical reflections on key themes of contemporary music. He recently edited the book Sounds from Within: Phenomenology and Practice (Springer, 2021) and published the book Zwischen Klängen und Apparaten: zur Theorie und Praxis der elektronischen Musik [Between sounds and apparatuses: theory and practice of electronic music] (Rediroma, 2021) Chagas has received several international awards, including recently the prestigious Fulbright Research Award for a research project at the TU Berlin.



sound in context

Lecture series with international guests on sound art, electronic composition and sound-related media art with talks, presentations and lecture-performances.


In cooperation with 

UdK Berlin UNI.K | Studio für Elektroakustische Komposition, Klangkunst und Klangforschung
UdK Berlin IZM | Institut für zeitbasierte Medien / Generative Art
TU Studio | Fachgebiet Audiokommunikation | Technische Universität Berlin