performative publishing, workshop

Mattin, curated by Carina Erdmann and Lore D Selys Social dissonance

24 March 2023 / Au jus

workshop and book presentation

poster social dissonance @ au JUS (no txt)

Mattin’s work in the field of noise and improvisation seeks to address the social and economic structures of experimental music production through live performance, recordings and writing. Social Dissonance is the discrepancy between what we do (buying and selling commodities) and what we believe about ourselves as non-commodified entities. In shifting the emphasis from the sonic to the social, we discover that social dissonance is the territory within which we already find ourselves, the condition we inhabit. In order to deal practically with this, Mattin scored social dissonance as part of documenta14 in Athens and Kassel. For 180 days, four players used members of the audience as instruments, who then hear themselves and reflect on their own conception and self-presentation. The score Social Dissonance claims that, by amplifying alienation in performance and participation, can enable us a new understanding of structural alienation.


Friday 24th March 8pm: book presentation @ Au jus. (Avenue Jean Volders 24, 1060 Saint-Gilles)

Lore D Selys & Mattin in conversation about his new book Social Dissonance, published by Urbanomic.

The conversation will be followed by a performative interaction with the audience. PDF available here.



Social Dissonance Workshop: Friday 24th March 3-7pm @ Au jus (Avenue Jean Volders 24, 1060 Saint-Gilles)

RSVP via

This workshop will explore noise and improvisation in relation to subjectivity in an expanded form. In the last few years, Mattin developed the concept of social dissonance taking as a starting point the idea of cognitive dissonance. If cognitive dissonance is the contradiction between two conflicting values or cognitions, then social dissonance is a structural form of cognitive dissonance emerging from the discrepancy that exists between the idea that we are free individuals in a democratic society and the way that we reproduce a system based on inequality, exploitation, unfreedom and environmental destruction. 

The idea of having a stable self and being an individual autonomous subject is often promoted as an ideal to strive towards in this neoliberal society, but the reality is that this is no longer be possible or even desirable. Social dissonance is increasing: the disappearance of work through AI, precarisation, digital overdose, and social media, all this lead to growing fragmentation and a sense of meaninglessness. It is not surprising that the societal expectation of success can often lead to burnout, depression, loneliness, and other mental health issues that are prevalent in our current culture.

To address these challenges, we need to understand our fragmented character, to decenter ourselves from individualistic thinking to collective thinking. By doing so, we can make sense of an incoherent and broken society and try to find the seeds of another society that can lead us to a more inclusive future. Through listening exercises, discussions, and collective experiments such as making and performing techniques, scores, and diagrams, we will investigate this social dissonance. By bringing all possible material for improvisation, such as instruments, ideas, fears, concerns, fragility, projections, and expectations we will attempt to better understand the commodification of both our experience and our subjectivity. Through this workshop will try to practically answer these questions: How can we decenter selfhood? Is free improvisation possible in these conditions? How to engage with this mental state of noise?






Mattin is an artist, musician and theorist working conceptually with noise and improvisation. Through his practice and writing he explores performative forms of estrangement as a way to deal with structural alienation. Mattin has exhibited and toured worldwide. He has performed in festivals such as Performa (NYC), No Fun (NYC), Club Transmediale (Berlin), Arika (Glasgow) and lectured and taught in institutions such as Dutch Art Institute, Cal Arts, Bard College, Paris VIII, Princeton University and Goldsmiths College. In 2017 he completed a PhD at the University of the Basque Country under the supervision of the philosopher Ray Brassier. Along with Anthony Iles he edited the book Noise & Capitalism (Kritika/Arteleku 2009). In 2012 CAC Brétigny and Tuamaturgia published Unconstituted Praxis, a book collecting his writing plus interviews and reviews from performances. Anthony Iles and Mattin are currently in the final stages of editing the volume Abolishing Capitalist Totality: What is To Be Done Under Real Subsumption? (Archive Books). Urbanomic has just published this year his book Social Dissonance. Mattin is part of the bands Billy Bao and Regler and has over 100 releases in different labels worldwide. Mattin is and currently co-hosting with Miguel Prado the podcast Social Discipline, and he is also part of Noise Research Union with Cecile Malaspine, Sonia de Jager, Miguel Prado and Inigo Wilkins. Mattin took part in 2017 in documenta14 in Athens and Kassel.


Unfortunately we no longer have applications. Both programs: the Postgraduate as well as Research Center have come to an end due to the decision of the ministry of education to stop financing a.pass. At the moment we look into new plans for the future. More news soon on our website.

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Every application will be offered a copy while stocks last of the a.pass publication In These Circumstances: a collection of methodologies, insights, experiences, ideas, researches from 15 years of a.pass. If you like to receive a copy then please provide an address below.

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