Food & Paper: Musical interaction in the tetravalence (Stover)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Christopher Stover from RITMO will present is current research on "Musical interaction in the tetravalence"

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In the chapter 'Postulates of linguistics' in A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia ([1980]1987), Deleuze and Guattari schematize their concept of assemblage as a 'tetravalence' that operates via the conjunction of what I call four dimensional, transversal axes. First is an axis along which the 'machinic assemblage of bodies' and 'collective assemblage of enunciation' impinge on and transform one another. Second is the double movement of forces that effect those transformations: deterritorialization and reterritorialization. I have found this tetravalent model useful for thinking about what happens in musical interaction from a critical posthuman perspective (borrowing Rosi Braidotti's term) that considers relationships between many different kinds of participants: human performers and listeners, instruments and other technologies, spaces and surfaces, pasts and futures. In this presentation I will (1) theorize Deleuze and Guattari's use of 'tetravalence' by drawing on how 'valence' is used in chemistry and emotion studies, (2) carefully clarify what Deleuze and Guattari mean by the four terms that comprise the assemblage in this model, and (3) use this framework to examine a recording that I made, under quite unusual circumstances, in Denmark in 2013. (This presentation is a condensed version of a chapter I am completing for Deleuze and Artistic Research (Orpheus Institute Press, 2020)).


Chris Stover is a composer, trombonist and researcher at RITMO. He is editor of the new volume Rancière and Music (Edinburgh University Press) and has published articles or chapters in Music Theory SpectrumPerspectives of New MusicMusic Theory OnlineAnalytical Approaches to World MusicThe Open Space MagazineMedia and CultureDeleuze and ChildrenThe Norton Guide to Teaching Music Theory, and many more. His music can be heard at
Published Apr. 22, 2020 9:51 AM - Last modified May 4, 2020 8:06 AM