[Erik Bünger]



Erik Bünger: a lecture on schizophonia (2007-2009)



Steven Connor:

As the deluded, the psychotic, and the paranoid realized early on, the media age is dominated by the preposition ‘through’, as signaled by the prefix ‘per -’ and the experiences of permeation, percolation, percussion, performance, persuasion it expresses. In such a world, the discontinuity of insides and outsides is ecstatically, anxiously dissolved. And in such a world sound, with its capacity to permeate the membranes separating discrete beings and bodies and to move from inside to outside and from outside to inside, becomes the representative sense-modality. Erik Bünger is preoccupied throughout his work with such passages of sounds, musics, and vocalities between inside and outside.
With the arrival of the various forms of phonography and kinematics at the end of the nineteenth century, the old formula verba volent, scripta manent – speech flees, writing endures – lost its mandate, for now the spoken had entered into iterability and persistence. This third sphere of abstract, impersonal enunciation has expanded from the thinnest, most epiphenomenal profile to an entire regime: an elemental, mindless mentality, between the animate and the inanimate, between event and artefact.
A Lecture on Schizophonia centers around the convivial deathliness of the half-lives emitted and reanimated by recording technology, voices without a body and yet, insofar as they are voices, always evoking the kind of quasi-corporeality that I once thought to call the ‘vocalic body’[Steven Connor. Dumbstruck. Oxford 2000, pp. 35-42].
A Lecture on Schizophonia ends with a couple of examples of posthumous duets between living singers and the recorded dead (…). Such chimera couplings of voice are everywhere in the world of fluid voice-bodies that Bünger explores.


Steven Connor: Personifications. In: Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft (Hg.): Ars Viva 2011/12 – Sprache / Language: Erik Bünger, Philip Goldbach, Juergen Staack. Ostfildern 2011, 35-47.