︎︎︎ Quasi objects are objects that are neither natural nor quite social, hybrids found at the intersection between the two spectra. The forms that emerge from the sudden desertion of the public space result in an alienation not only of the individual from nature, but vice-versa.

On this backdrop, the encounter with sound objects becomes a remote phenomenon. In his analysis of sonic morphology, Denis Smalley identifies three main types of sound sources: gestural (requiring an energy or exciter), mechanical, utterance (human) or purely natural (animals and environment). Quieting down mechanical noise and limiting intentional movement altogether, the social scape is faced with a sudden drop in sonic surplus, which reveals a new palette of layered textures, timbres and frequencies. This spectro-morphology instigates nostalgia for both the past and the future, highlighting a present of indetermination and anticipation.

On the other hand, this encounter with the remote, (abandoned objects and landscapes), points to Latour’s assumption that quasi-objects transcend categories such as presence/absence or real/social. They become objects of reflection, rather than interaction. In this context, to collect (sound) objects is an attempt at restoring the memory of a recent past and speculating new paradigms. The abbreviation of these objects builds-up a narrative that is both familiar and uncanny, resemblant of something distant which cannot be identified.

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© LERA KELEMEN  / 2020