Philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has studied the operations of states and their mobilization of technical practices to serve a presupposed general interest, which involves the production of rules and norms. Such rules and norms are blind to forms of knowledge that are denigrated as ‘local’ and ‘traditional’, and feature the correlative elimination of what does not conform and cannot be standardized – in other words, what is recalcitrant to objective evaluation. Anything that resists subsumption to technical rationality is seen as a threat to public order (Isabelle Stengers, In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism, pp.73-4).
The eight tracks on ‘Recalcitrance’ examine abstract topics that range from metaphysical speculation and psychological investigation to reflections on the process of creation itself. Taking a shared set of source sounds as their starting point, Matthijs Kouw and Gagi Petrovic invite listeners to trace the common sources of their pieces and to become recalcitrant themselves by experiencing the compositions in ways that defy what Stengers describes as technical rationality. Recalcitrant subjects ask new questions, thereby allowing the currently dominant reductionist mindset obsessed with productivity to be unsettled by space for reflection and quiet contemplation.
releases April 16, 2021
Composed, performed, recorded and produced by Matthijs Kouw (disc 1) and Gagi Petrovic (disc 2).
Covert art by Zeno van den Broek
Layout by Rutger Zuydervelt
Mastered by Jos Smolders at EARLabs