Half man, half machine? Or in the end, human, all too human? We virtually sat down with the man Pierce Warnecke who just released his digital single ‘The Machine Serves‘ on Fremdtunes and tried to get some insight on the man’s whereabouts, habitats, habits, methods and future-plans. So, here it is: the rough guide to Pierce Warnecke:
Name, age, occupation, daily routine?
Pierce, 28, music/sound as much as possible but sometimes other things when the well runs dry. No prostitution but have thought about it.
I spend most of the week at my small studio working and making sound, I try and do half work and half personal projects. I spend time sending tons of emails trying to reach out, find shows, etc. I’m thinking about removing internet from the studio actually!
You currently live in Berlin, but were born in California I A, studied in Boston, lived in France: what place do you prefer the most
Ahhhhhhh…..this will sound bland but every place has it’s advantage and inconvenience. Berlin is great because you can live on very little and there’s always something cool happening. The grey gets to me though. I love France and go back quite often but it’s kind of like Paris or nothing in terms of living in a big city, and I don’t want to live in Paris. And I was there for 10 years so I’m ready for new places. Of course for the food…I could return.
But no matter what, I feel like a CA is home, although I haven’t lived there since I was child. I go back once a year about.
Your new release (The Machine Serves) and upcoming release (The Machine Regrets) on Fremdtunes are based upon the story of a machine gaining consciousness and realizing his life has an end. Can you tell us a little bit more about this existential idea?
I’m sure the idea must have come while reading things like Kurzweil’s Singularity, the Eternal Golden Braid by Hofsteder. And from old science fiction movies good and bad: 2001, Solaris (don’t even say the word remake), Terminator, Forbidden Planet, Barbarella, Zardoz, Blade Runner…a combination of futuristic/SF influences that I used to really be into a few years ago, although not much anymore.
I really like this almost paranoid idea that someday we will create a better version of our own intelligence and that it will be evil for some reason and we’ll have
to destroy it. Except it’s smarter than us, because that’s the way we made it, so we’ll have think of a sly, crafty plan to pull the plug on it. Distraction, overload of sensory data, or just good old explosives…
I don’t know enough on the subject to say with certainty that an AI will become self-aware one day, but I think it’s possible. I tried to imagine what would happen
if a machine did actually become self-aware.
I guess to me the difference between a machine and a human is that we know we’re here, and we also know that we won’t be here soon. It’s pretty depressing
to think like that, especially if you just wake up to that knowledge all of a sudden, like a machine would! So I imagined that the machine would say ‘no thanks’ and rather be an innocent idiot and serve faithfully then to really look reality in the eye and live with the additional weight of being conscious of your own existence/looming death.
So I figured he’d re-boot and erase the code that gave him self-awareness, which is the closest thing I could think of for a robot committing suicide.
Do you consider a machine to be man’s best friend?
If the machine you’re speaking of is a robot dog, then definitely. I guess you could say that we spend most of our time with machines now, I certainly do. I
don’t consider it to be a friend though, in fact sometimes it can be more of an enemy!
What kind of equipment do you use to create your music?
A machine. Some very popular software that’s made here in Berlin. Other software made by a company I work for. A lot of synth stuff but I make my own sounds, no
presets. Nothing analog or hardware, I move around too much to collect bulky objects, and don’t have the money for them. I use stuff I record walking around using a portable device, too.
What kind of music do you listen to?
These days a lot of experimental/improvised stuff, some drone, really not much in the vein of these releases. I listen to much less music than before. Recently though I got an old tape deck and listened to the Twin Peaks Soundtrack, that’s amazing. And some Kenny G when I’m feeling depressed…
What inspired and inspires you to make music?
Dinosaurs. I have lots of them on my desk.
Conky 2000, R2D2, the T-800, Robby the Robot, HAL, Ash, Robocop, Replicants, Bender…
I like the idea of retro-futurism, the amazing future people imagined in past decades and that never really came true (or hasn’t yet)…like they say, ‘the future’s not what it used to be’, sigh. Or is it ‘Africa is the future’? Both are pretty true, in either case.
Can you tell us something about your previous releases?
I released one EP on BEE records in France. I haven’t listened to it recently but I had fun making it.
What can people expect at a ‘Pierce Warnecke’ live performance? And do you have some live gigs coming up?
If I’m drunk enough, expect to see my #!@>#?. Kidding… I don’t know, book me and see – don’t want to ruin the surprise! Nothing coming up for this project
until 2012, but I am performing some of my other experimental and audiovisual projects over the next few months.
Any future plans you want to share with us?
Well, an EP on Fremd in December…The Machine Regrets with some really cool remixes by Kelpe, Baron Retif and Concepcion Perez and Big Mister Doom – very
Yes, actually some retro-futuristic plans: On August 29th 1997, Skynet computer systems (developed by the defense firm Cyberdyne Systems) will gain self-awareness. The operators, realizing the extent of its abilities, will try to pull the plug. Skynet will perceive the attempt at it’s deactivation as an attack and will come to the conclusion that in order to defend itself, all of humanity should be exterminated. No future!