A sound and photo essay by John Modern, et al.
The Commons is happy to promote ongoing projects at the intersection of religious life, education, the arts, and social justice. One of these fabulous new projects is the “Machines in Between” collab that promotes scholarly work and work in the arts. This is sound based, as well as highly visual, and we look forward to seeing more of what this project can offer us! –The Editors at The Commons
Machines in Between is a year-long collaboration between artists and philosophers, historians and DJ’s, musicians and poets, biologists, sound engineers, dancers, conservationists. Together, we linger over a simple insight into the increasing entanglement between humans and machines. What is to be done as this entanglement intensifies in strange and familiar ways?
Our interest in the present technological moment, however, is not one of mere scholarly abstraction. On the contrary, we acknowledge from the beginning that questions concerning technology are questions of living and dying that play out everyday—in the joys and sublime trials, in the triumphs and in the inequities that a head-long rush into a techno-future foster and perpetually incentivize.
Indeed, how does one respond to this revelation, the categorical slippage between humans and machines? What to make of this slippage in the everyday world of gigging in the digital economy? What happens when our machines become more god-like, and more invisible, than our imaginations of transcendence, omniscience, and ultimate order can handle?
You are cordially invited to the launch of Machines in Between at the Vinyl Church
LANCASTER, PA —Please bring yourselves, your friends, your machines, and your listening ears for two nights of audio-visual effervescence in celebration of the experimental audio series, Machines in Between. All are welcome.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5 from 5:00-9:00 pm
Join us for the premier of Machines In Between: Episode 1, played LIVE on wax at the Vinyl Church
Vinyl Church Grand Opening; 5pm: Doors open // 6:30pm: Machines in Between Episode One Premiere. Free
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6 from 5:00- 8:00 pm
Machines in Between Mixtape Drop // $5 at the door, includes food, drink and Machines in Between Mixtape
All events at Modern Art, located at 529 W. Chestnut St. Lancaster, PA 17603.
*Machines in Between Audio Series*
Machines in Between is an audio-visual exploration that reimagines our present state of technological saturation. Composed of 11 genre-bending audio episodes and the interactive experience of The Vinyl Church, Machines in Between is pushing conversation and public discourse around technology and religion.
Part mixtape, surreal performance, and philosophical experiment, the Machines In Between audio series features an eclectic and world-renowned cast of scholars, musicians, filmmakers, and artists. It is a wild ride through a fun-house of samples, science-fiction, and searing social critique. Season One of Machines in Between features original music and segments ranging from biblical translation and breast pumps to technologies of slavery and the mythology of bitcoin. Machines In Between is available on Apple podcasts, Spotify, online at www.machinesinbetween.com and wherever you download your sound. Episodes and bonus tracks drop weekly from November 2022 through May 2023.
For a press preview of Episode one, please email John Modern at [email protected]
Machines in Between’s Vinyl Church
From November 2022- May 2023, Lancaster’s experimental studio, Modern Art, will be transformed into the VINYL CHURCH—an interactive installation inviting visitors to bear witness to the machines in between archive. The Vinyl Church is a sacred space of saturation. Walls covered with records chosen for their insistence upon another world; chosen for their intensities, desperate demands, and surplus of feeling; chosen for their longing, for their standing awestruck and bent harmonies. Portals to the other worlds of heaven, UFOs, and talking spirits, of chakras and healing energies.
All work at The Commons is published under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
John Modern, co-host and producer
John Modern is Arthur and Katherine Shadek Professor of the Humanities and Religious studies at Franklin & Marshall College. Modern teaches classes on American religious history, literature, science, technology, and aesthetics. Former Editor-at-Large for The Immanent Frame, he co-curated Frequencies and co-edits Class 200: New Studies in Religion (both with Kathryn Lofton). Modern is the author of Secularism in Antebellum America (University of Chicago Press) and The Bop Apocalypse: The Religious Visions of Kerouac, Ginsberg, and Burroughs (University of Illinois Press). Neuromatic; or, a Particular History of Religion and the Brain from published University of Chicago Press was recently awarded the International Society for the Study of Religion and Science 2022 ISSR Best Book Award. Modern is a former member of the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study and an ACLS Frederick Burkhardt fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies.
Libby Modern, Co-host and art director. Libby Modern is the founder of Modern Art, an experimental storefront studio in Lancaster, PA. Her projects range from spontaneous interventions on the block (like a to-do list exchange, voting practice, a neighborhood art swap) to large scale installations (like a hotel for your phone, an art peep show, a giant ampersand ) with a bunch of communications strategies for social and environmental causes thrown in. All use elements of surprise, curiosity, empathy, humor and art to encourage neighbors, both near and far, to experience affective ties with one another and participate in the process, and the aesthetics, of community building.
Click here for our full list of collaborators and audio contributors.