TALK BY MLADEN DOLAR
THE BURROW OF SOUND
JUNE 8, 2011 18:30 – 20:00
Pursuing past conversations with Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin around the nature of sound and its implications in modern philosophy and art, University of Ljubljana Professor Mladen Dolar will examine the boundaries between inside and outside, the psyche and the external, reality and fantasy, and sanity and insanity. Dolar's analysis builds upon a reading of Kafka’s short story Der Bau [The Burrow]. This work, written shortly before the author’s death, tells the story of an unknown sound intruding on a badger’s burrow – a sound that eventually transforms the animal’s life into a nightmare. Raising questions around the location, origins and properties of sound, “The Burrow” intimately addresses the historical moment of modernity, the ontological “wake-up call” of a new experience. At its most basic, it presents an opening from which the fields of philosophy and art have been founded, a phonetic burrow with the emblematic value of a modern Platonic cave.
Mladen Dolar, PhD, is a professor in the University of Ljubljana’s Department of Philosophy and an advising researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, The Netherlands. Earning his PhD in 1991 with a dissertation on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, he has authored over a hundred papers published in scholarly journals and collected volumes as well as ten books, including English publications of Opera’s Second Death (with Slavoj Žižek, Routledge, 2001) and A voice and nothing more (MIT, 2006). His most recent works are Cutting off King’s Head, On the Foucauldian Legacy (Ljubljana, 2010) and Officers, Maids and Chimneysweepers (Ljubljana, 2011).