Dec 3, 2011

Text 7


Prologue

This text, or rather this set of texts, videos and pictures, will for the first time not include an UNBOXING video. Not that I don’t have anything more to add with respect to this phenomenon, but during the course of examining and scrutinising it I came across some interesting material which says something about contemporary means of production in a way that is different, but perhaps just as interesting. It happened more or less by accident, in fact. While I was looking for another UNBOXING video I chanced upon a cover version of a Beyoncé song: Best Thing I Never Had. To begin with I wanted to skip over it and click on another link, but something grabbed my attention. Even though it was another amateur or semi-amateur video, there was something different about it. It wasn’t the sort of performance someone had recorded in their living room, bedroom or secretly in their bathroom, the kind of thing you watch when you want to amuse yourself at somebody’s expense. I started to watch and especially to listen closely. I was watching a seated woman singing into a condenser microphone, wearing studio quality headphones. The picture quality and camera work were also good. Everything was clear and intelligible. And, above all, it was no longer ridiculous. Horribly symptomatic, more like. I was surprised, and so I searched on and on and found hundreds and hundreds of cover versions of this composition. The same song every time, the same notes, the same intonation, the same technology, but in a different house, with other objects and other bodies. It’s basically the same thing over and over, the same song, but why not perform it, properly. Because it’s actually the best thing I’ve ever heard, wanted and had.


In electronics, a digital-to-analog converter (DAC or D-to-A) is a device that converts a digital (usually binary) code to an analog signal (current, voltage, or electric charge). An analog-to-digital converter (ADC) performs the reverse operation. Signals are easily stored and transmitted in digital form, but a DAC is needed for the signal to be recognized by human senses or other non-digital systems.¹