Music & Hacking International Conference

Instruments, Communities, Ethics
Wed 8 November 2017,
9:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m., and
Thu 9 November 2017,
9:30 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac

Free (subject to available places)

Organized in conjunction with the musée du quai Branly, the symposium Music & Hacking: Instruments, Communities, Ethics aims at defining the practices of musicians and technicians involved in activities that fall within the scope, explicitly or implicitly, of musical hacking. 

Since the beginning of the third millennium, computer code and digital instruments have constantly changed the aesthetic, ergonomic, communicative, and ethical facets of musical practices. This reconfiguration is partly due to the notion of hacking. While hacking initially refers to a group of activities connected to the world of computers, it has, little by little, infiltrated numerous other fields, including that of artistic creation.

The values conveyed by hacking advocate both the appropriation of mass-produced technological objects and the valorization of a type of freely available community know-how in addition to the pleasure of serendipity, of misappropriation, of manipulation. These values underpin a discreet and dispersed form of social protest in response to a globalized commercial and industrial culture, often standardized. It is important to understand the characteristic forms and postures of hacking—sometimes playful, transgressive, or optimizing—in today’s music. The conference will address the multiple forms of misappropriation or reuse musicians employ in their material environment, the creation of a federation of musical communities via hacking, and the influence of the “hacker” ethic in musical practices.

Finally, the organization of a music hack day after the conference (November 10 & 11 at IRCAM) will give a concrete look at the vibrancy and wealth of different approaches that make up the world of musical hacking.  

Download the program


Baptiste Bacot EHESS/Ircam-STMS
Clément Canonne Analysis of Musical Practices team, IRCAM-STMS
Frédéric Keck Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac
Guillaume Pellerin Analysis of Musical Practices team, IRCAM-STMS

A Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, IRCAM-Centre Pompidou coproduction with the support of Labex Création, Arts, Patrimoines.
  • Affiche  © Sarah Bahr
    Affiche © Sarah Bahr