The Hyper-Appearance of Music

Agnès Gayraud

This year, with Dialectic of Pop, the musician and philosopher Agnès Gayraud presented a comprehensive philosophical and historical examination of pop music as a paradoxical, self-reflexive, technologically mediated art form. Her conclusion formulates a suspicion that “pop, as a form, will have exhausted itself” when it collapses under the colossal archive and oversupply of recordings and music only fulfills its decimated function, without anyone really still listening.

Music has never been so much hailed to apparition, i. e. visual manifestations in today’s multimedia era. From sound wave visualizations in music software to embedded music videos in every visual media to the designs of the streaming services: Music appears everywhere. Musicians rely on visual lure for people to click on their “musical content”; in doing so, they often refrain from actually listening to them. Gayraud asks: How does this visibility of music affect how it is experienced? Should we consider identifying here a conflict of the senses? Is hyper appearance the clue to an invisible disappearance?

Image & Editing: Clara Lemercier
Sound: Lise Lebleux