Thursday, July 31, 2008

2006 Arpanet Interview

I was sent an English translation of an interview done with Heinrich Mueller for the French magazine Chronic'art from July 2006 just before his legendary 2006 concert at La Geode in Paris as Arpanet. A big thanks to one of my readers for that. For my French readers and to see the original article follow this Record Makers link.
Also found a link to an Arpanet MySpace which looks like it was set up by Record Makers, not sure if I ever linked it before but check it out as well, it only has 34 friends.
After a very rare live concert at La Géode late June, Arpanet answered our questions through his vocoder.
Arpanet stands for “Advanced Research Projects Agency Network”, it’s the first American paquet network, originally developed by the DARPA in 1967 before an official release in 1972. But Arpanet also stands for a musical project lead by a very secret person. He’s been working under the Arpanet name since 2000, and is best known as Heinrich Müller. He’s been involved in a consequent number of projects including : Dopplereffekt, Der Zyklus, Japanese Telecom, Elecktroids, Glass Domain and the last but not least, Drexciya. An important release to date is Gesamkunstawerk , produced mid-nineties, 1995 in Detroit. The artwork (the communist Hammer and sickle) and of course “We have to sterilize the population” or “I want to be, a porno star” choruses remains unforgettable.
Working with his wife, Müller puts the political debate aside in order to consider the Kraftwerk motto : technology serves art, the machine is poetry. His first release, called Wireless Internet was a technology oriented album with a fascination for the I-Mode, a mobile technology marketed by the Nippon company NTT-DoCoMo. Today in 2006, Inertial Frame deals with quantum physics to patchwork in connection science and music. Although he’s a very secret person and a media phobic, he accepted to answer “cordially” to our questions.
Remaining anonymous, Heinrich Müller has troubles to tell his what he believes. Obviously it’s surprising to be an African descent and to have chosen the name of the Gestapo general at the same time. When asked, he answered “let the reader/fan understanding and acknowledging what he would like”. Anyway he keeps an eye on the totalitarian heritage in the today’s era, communism or nazism and subserviencey. According to Heinrich Müller “Medias networks are often right but most of the time they spread lies. Such as the H5N1 crisis. Information networks don’t like the pure truth that much.” A conspiracy? Heinrich thinks so : “The government controls and censors mass-medias, as a consequence the information is fallacious and is targeted to mislead people. Today there’s a small percentage left of true information because of the simple fact pure information is being cut off and is reduced to a small element. The only way to get true information is to grab it at its source without any link with the government control.” This is his point of view of modern information. On the one hand you have a total liberty, on the other hand you have even more pressing control. The Internet is the best example to describe those words: “Yes it permits to communicate everywhere on Earth, even in remote areas but it’s also an over-monitored network. The whole activity and mail traffic are being monitored. International governments do so. China applies a very strict policy regarding the Internet. Could we say it’s liberty? Isn’t it technologic oppression?"
Heinrich Müller gives great credit to Darwin’s thesis. According to this thesis “species that survive are not the most intelligent or the strongest ones, but it’s species that are able to adapt. Nowadays, the motto is consume or die. Sometimes you have to make harsh decisions and sacrifices to sustain life. It’s nature and the natural selection process. The human kind is an animal assuming a specific role in the ecosystem. There are predators and preys. You must have a predator mindset. It must be genetically written.” So Heinrich Müller thinks that chance has nothing to do with life. It’s all about having the right genetic characteristics. “I don’t think that the social environment interferes that much. Whatever the context you evolve into, you can become a citizen of the world, it depends on your approaches and your genome. For example, being wealthy does not guarantee that you’re adaptable and strong at all. There’re breaches in those type of living. Every day gives its singular example.” Heinrich Müller is walking on the eugenism path with a unexpected beautiful world in mind : “Eugenism is related to racism but I think that it can have good effects. Reducing the crime rate for example. I totally believe that human beings can be improved by genetic operations.” Those frightening words don’t lead to fascism he says : “Involving the Homo-Sapiens wouldn’t have been controlled by politics but by science itself.” And so on with GMOs : “this type of technology could be either good or dangerous. It only depends on who applies those technologies. Although ethics is accommodating theories, discoveries, it’s not enough to prevent certain kinds of abuses from happening.”
About Detroit, his supposedly native city he doesn’t feel uncomfortable with its downtown where big automotive companies used to do business, leaving wandering people in such a ghetto. Surprisingly, he shows an incredible sense of optimism : “This situation is getting better, it requires brand new perspectives for the inhabitants. Only people can make it happen, not the government. They have to stop sleeping.” What about revolution? “Status quo doesn’t serve the community, you must wake up to make things change, a kind of rebellion. Revolution has very different forms : it could be silent as well as violent.”
What about music? Technology is the main principle of Arpanet’s music. Subaquatic ambient oriented, then synthetic pop then deep electro, Inertial Frame is now a classic lining up among Drexciya or Dopplereffekt releases. Heinrich Müller doesn’t want to share his secrets about the music he’s been making but “it’s an ode about science, a celebration of its own power.” Arpanet encompasses the whole scientific world : quantum physics, Einstein theories, … “We are technology integrated. We analyse technology and then, we organize the sound. Producing electronic music is a scientific process, we take hypothesis forth and we test it. Machines that produce sound are science products, there’s nothing more clever than analysing theories that run those machines in order to use it.” Heinrich Müller thinks that technology may not be misused. “In the future, organic organism and artificial organism would make the same biologic piece and one day, the artificial organism will be as common as a slot machine. Of course not right now, it will take time for the whole society to acknowledge and to accept those kind of technologies but in the end we’re going to gradually loose our fear of the artificial organism.” Any relation between electronic devices and molecules ? “Basically molecules have nothing to do there, we only control negative ions and positive ions flow. In other words, voltage. The human kind is biomechanic, machines are electronic, we are an interface.” All these frightening points of view make us forget that they serve the most unique music we could listen to right now, in 2006.


Anonymous Petter said...

Slightly interesting. Thanks for digging this up.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

by reading the original article it appears the (vocoded) answers is a kind of a joke. the article refers to his (vocoded) voice & i bet you dont have to take this literally (he didnt have a vocoder on stage neither).

3:10 PM  
Blogger jesus said...

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7:37 AM  

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