Beating Time. Discrete time in history and aesthetics of the rhythm-machine

Leuphana University Lüneburg | BA Minor Digitale Medien / Kulturinformatik | Module: Culture, Aesthetics and History of Digital Media | Malte Pelleter

One – Two – Three – Four. To beat time means to count and discretise the time that just now flowed so steadily. Rhythm machines and drum machines, which today play from every radio and playlist, began to implement exactly this in the course of the 20th century. In this way, they form an exciting parallel to the history of the digital computer, which only knows time as a consequence of disjunctive machine states. In contrast to computer time, however, the operation of the rhythm machines can be heard: In clacking electric organs, in the machine radio of Sly Stone or George Clinton, in the 808/909 madness of house and techno, in the sampledelia of hip hop.

Further information on this seminar is available in German.