|Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.|
With the musician who samples individual saxophone sounds and then creates a saxophone solo per emulation on a keyboard interface we have arrived, so to speak, at the nadir of montage: at an illusionism that uses the lethargy of the senses and now not only hides its cuts, but also attempts to simulate a historically earlier stage of production and technology. From the very beginning, however, the counterposition in pop music—the belief, as it were, in a genuinely constructive tool: the electric guitar and the ideology of direct expression that accompanies it—was neither in a position to understand the genuinely intermedial character of pop music, nor was its use—which now indeed displayed the production dimension and invited appropriation—in punk culture in a position to actually reappropriate means of production and processes other than only symbolically and in the short-term. Interestingly enough, at most this was somewhat successful on an economic level through the emergence of so-called independent labels. However, critical pop music, which in the Marxist paradigm
concentrated solely on the economic means of production, overlooked the fact that with respect to media and technology, the moderately appropriated area was never really the developmental focus of pop music. Above all there was the problem of the guitar—to which not without good reason one had already attached phallocracy, authenticism and all other possible ideologies—namely that it was only a fetishized ersatz, compressed to a single tool, for what really stood at the center of all pop music: the staging of a media reality within reality, a continuous montage of role and person, referent and sign, and not the montage of two signs as we have in the cinema.
Interestingly enough, of all places it was at the rock bottom of montage that one discovered the bleak simulation tool of sampling. One could not only use the sampler to create simulations, it was particularly ideal for the electroquoting, cutting and mounting in of someone else's and one's own material, which one could—illusionistically—extract from somewhere else