Jason Smith

  • Branden W. Joseph’s Beyond the Dream Syndicate

    AFTER HEARING LA MONTE YOUNG’S 2 Sounds at Richard Maxfield’s New York studio, John Cage—as recounted in Branden W. Joseph’s Beyond the Dream Syndicate—compared the experience to “see[ing] something through a microscope.” Consisting of two sustained scraping sounds closely miked and amplified to create a sonic envelope into which the listener seems to disappear, Young’s 1960 composition allowed Cage to “hear in the interior of the sound, in the interior of the action.” By amplifying the scraping noises and extending their duration, the piece transformed sound into an environment or architecture,

  • A NEW GEOMETRY: PAOLO VIRNO AND AUTONOMIA

    ITALY’S AUTONOMIA MOVEMENT was less a group of people or an organization to which one belonged than a milieu or network of spaces through which elements of the Italian “extreme” Left moved. Though in many areas of the country autonomia had its base in the student and women’s movements, what distinguished it was its deep roots in certain segments of the working class, in particular those who had emigrated from the south of the country, outside the Communist Party and trade union culture that was so dominant in the northern industrial cities. Not a party, autonomia was a form of struggle (a set