Rhythm Science

Paperback (Print)
Rent from BN.com
(Save 64%)
Est. Return Date: 12/19/2014
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $2.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 94%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (25) from $2.00   
  • New (6) from $24.12   
  • Used (19) from $2.00   


"Once you get into the flow of things, you're always haunted by the way that things could have turned out. This outcome, that conclusion. You get my drift. The uncertainty is what holds the story together, and that's what I'm going to talk about."—Rhythm ScienceThe conceptual artist Paul Miller, also known as Dj Spooky that Subliminal Kid, delivers a manifesto for rhythm science — the creation of art from the flow of patterns in sound and culture, "the changing same."Taking the Dj's mix as template, he describes how the artist, navigating the innumerable ways to arrange the mix of cultural ideas and objects that bombard us, uses technology and art to create something new and expressive and endlessly variable. Technology provides the method and model;information on the web, like the elements of a mix, doesn't stay in one place. And technology is the medium, bridging the artist's consciousness and the outside world.Miller constructed his Dj Spooky persona ("spooky" from the eerie sounds of hip-hop, techno, ambient, and the other music that he plays) as a conceptual art project, but then came to see it as the opportunity for "coding a generative syntax for new languages of creativity." For example: "Start with the inspiration of George Herriman's Krazy Kat comic strip. Make a track invoking his absurd landscapes... What do tons and tons of air pressure moving in the atmosphere sound like? Make music that acts a metaphor for that kind of immersion or density." Or, for an online "remix" of two works by Marcel Duchamp: "I took a lot of his material written on music and flipped it into a DJ mix of his visual material —with him rhyming!"Tracing the genealogy of rhythm science, Miller cites sources and influences as varied as Ralph Waldo Emerson ("all minds quote"), Grandmaster Flash, W. E. B Dubois, James Joyce,and Eminem. "The story unfolds while the fragments coalesce," he writes.Miller's textual provocations are designed for maximum visual and tactile seduction by the international studio COMA (Cornelia Blatter and Marcel Hermans). They sustain the book's motifs of recontextualizing and relayering, texts and images bleed through from page to page, creating what amount to 2.5dimensional vectors. From its remarkable velvet flesh cover, to the die cut hole through the center of the book, which reveals the colored nub holding in place the included audio CD, Rhythm Science: Excerpts and Allegories from the Sub Rosa Archives, this pamphlet truly lives up to Editorial Director Peter Lunenfeld's claim that the Mediawork Pamphlets are "theoretical fetish objects...

'zines for grown-ups."

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Miller gets his points across in novel and affecting ways....a singular voice." Larry Blumenfeld Jazziz

"Miller raises compelling questions about the philosophy behind the DJ mix and the role the DJ plays in society." Doree Shafrir Philadelphia Weekly

"Miller's insights as a practicing and successful DJ are fresh and unpretentious." Publisher's Weekly

"...Rhythm Science is a compelling book written by a formidable intellect...a pivotally important manifesto for DJs." Christian Carey Splendid

"The writing drifts easily, while cool design from COMA and a CD round out the package...." Anne York Res Magazine

Publishers Weekly
DJ/conceptual artist/author Paul Miller's pseudonym is at once an arcane reference to William S. Burroughs's Nova Express and a childlike recognition of the sometimes eerie, disembodied sounds he gathers-an immediate indicator of the gleeful enthusiasm with which both his "mixes" and his first book juxtapose cultures high and low, new and old, avant-garde and "street." Son of Howard University's dean of law (who died when Miller was three) and a mother who ran an international fabric shop off Dupont Circle, Miller spent much of his childhood in Washington, D.C.'s nurturing bohemia before studying philosophy and literature at Bowdoin. That his thesis was on Richard Wagner-whose theory of gestamtkunstwerk (the total art work) presages much of today's "new media" revolution-is no surprise. The emerging aesthetic he describes is one in which the proliferating technologies of sampling and studio manipulation have eroded the distinction between music's producers and consumers. From "dub" in Jamaica to the turntablism of the South Bronx, how music was manipulated by listeners after the fact has become as important as how it was "originally" made. The range of reference Miller brings to his description of these phenomena reaches back to Vico and Emerson and forward to Eminem, giving "DJ culture" the broad contextualization its innovations have long warranted. Though much of what Miller describes is hardly new either to listeners or practitioners, his insights as a practicing and successful DJ are fresh and unpretentious. The enclosed CD, an expert full-length mix that moves from Artaud to Morton Feldman, then Patti Smith without blinking, paradoxically points out that Miller is still a better DJ than writer; its effortless juxtapositions cohere in a way his text (including 45 minimalist illustrations) rarely manages. But even such writer/musicians as John Fahey and Glenn Gould rarely accomplished that, and Miller has certainly earned a place in their company. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262632874
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2004
  • Series: Mediaworks Pamphlets
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 960,717
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid, is a composer, multimedia artist, and writer. He is the author of Rhythm Science and Sound Unbound, both published by the MIT Press.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)