JON WOZENCROFT SOUND SEMINAR: After the Wheel
Thursday 19 May 2022 | 7:30pm – 11:30pm
Tickets: £6.50 General Admission https://buytickets.at/iklectik/693011
“You can’t reinvent the wheel” – So goes the saying to describe a futile attempt to
improve upon what has gone before. Nevertheless, the last ten years has seen a
relentless abstraction of this – in the UK, a deceitful attempt to return to “past
glories” alongside a series of fiscal measures that punish the poor for the crime
of being poor.
From its genesis during the times of the horse and cart to today’s driverless cars,
the wheel keeps on turning, creating massive fortunes for the fortunate few, but
the energy needed to drive it is another matter entirely.
Nikola Tesla proposed the principal of free energy a hundred years ago. It could
come from wireless networks for nothing, but that was not allowed to happen.
Tesla died in his New York hotel in 1943 in relative poverty and apparently with
a mere $100 to his name. This may be exaggerated, but clearly Tesla never
achieved great wealth despite his numerous inventions, most of all the feat in
having developed the means of electrical current distribution.
Elon Musk, meanwhile, is currently richest man in the world. Notably, his key
company appropriated the name Tesla – whose electric cars provide a platform
to numerous means of wealth accumulation. Musk made $171bn during the first
year of the Covid pandemic and increased Tesla’s market capitalisation 13-fold
since the end of 2019*. Next up – Twitter. Musk has bid $44bn to acquire the
company. The sum is roughly equivalent to the total budget President Biden’s
administration has dedicated to combatting climate change.
Musk has plans for brain implants that connect to the internet, AI initiatives in
addition, and if it all goes haywire, there’s always Life on Mars.
Might he be aware of one of Nikola Tesla’s unresolved inventions, “The Thought
Machine”, that intended to be able to project an individual’s retinal images onto a
screen? Does he take Twitter to be an improvement on this?
After the wheel, the spiked wheel of fortune. After the car, 20 th Century symbol of
forward freedom , the automated vehicle – 21 st Century symbol of living in
reverse, bonded behind a screen of algorithmic passivity.
If we can’t reinvent the wheel, we had better reinvent the superhighway, and
drive in a different direction.
*Source: “Elon Musk, Twitter and the internet economy”, Will Dunn, The New Statesman,
29 April 2022
Jon Wozencroft developed his sound seminars in the late 1980s as a means of highlighting the potential of sound-related research and practice in art and design education. Primarily, the seminars promote the art of listening and seek to rebalance the dominant bias of visual culture which favours the eye over the ear. Listening both enhances one’s perceptual awareness and creates an oasis away from 24/7 non-stop media. The seminars underline the power of sound and music as catalysts for change in a context in which recorded music has been progressively devalued in the digital environment. Drawing upon forty years of working in music publishing and performance, Wozencroft moves the audience between and beyond genre classifications and makes connections where past present and future come alive in the moment.