(Cybernetic-)‘Post-Pop‘: affect art(s) & (emotional) self-governing

»The relentless unity of the culture industry bears witness to the emergent unity of politics.«

Th. W. Adorno & M. Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightment

«According to the tenets of Hyperstition,

there is no difference in principal between a universe, a religion or a hoax.«

CCRU (Cybernetic Culture Research Unit)

«For years, I thought I was making all this up.

But they were telling me what to write…

giving me the power to make it all real.«

Sutter Cane

»You see, control can never be a means to any practical end . . .

It can never be a means to anything but more control . . .

like junk . . .«

William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

0. Introduction

A. Insertion I – About Time

1. Capitalisation I

2. Culture Industry I

B. Insertion II – Rhythmanalysis

3. Capitalisation II

4. Culture Industry II

C. Insertion III – Cybernetics / Kybernetik

5. Culture Industry III – Retromania & Simoultaneity(/-ies)

6. Post-Pop – Index-Art, Indexicality & Affect-Culture

D. Insertion IV – Timewars, Hyperstition & Science-Fiction

7. Sonic Warfare: Ecology of Emotions & emotional self-governing

E. Insertion V – ‚Psycho-Pass‘ – Measuring, Tracking, empirical Aesthetics

0. Introduction

»The irreconcilable power of the negative that sets history in motion is the power of what exploiters do to the victims. As a shackle binding one generation to the next, it functions as an obstacle to both freedom and history. The systematic unity of history, which is supposed to give meaning to individual suffering or else demot it from on high to the level of something fortuitous, is the philosophical appropriation of the labyrinth in which men have toiled to this day, the epitome of suffering.«1

Contingency in the following text is not produced by delivering a straight line of thought, in development of a coherent theory, but by jumpy discontinuities; parts bearing similarities with itself, fragmental and jumping between theories and concepts like a cut-up. A text which is unfinished, unpolished and open like a wound that takes side with heterogeneous (material), in which overwhelming amounts of foot- & sidenotes might prove more important than the original text, and some sort of subtext emerges (inbetween lines).

»A book that no one awaits, that answers no formulated question, that the author would not have written if he had followed its lesson to the letter – such is finally the oddity that today I offer the reader. This invites distrust at the outset, and yet, what if it were better not to meet any expectation and to offer precisely that which repels, that which people deliberately avoid, for lack of strength: that violent movement, sudden and shocking, which jostles the mind, taking away its tranquillity; a kind of bold reversal that substitutes a dynamism, in harmony with the world, for the stagnation of isolated ideas, of stubborn problems born of an anxiety that refused to see. How, without turning my back on expectations, could I have had the extreme freedom of thought that places concepts on a level with the world’s freedom of movement? It would serve no purpose to neglect the rules of rigorous investigation, which proceeds slowly and methodically. But how can we solve the enigma, how can we measure up to the universe if we content ourselves with the slumber of conventional knowledge? […] If the truth must be told, I had to choose: I could not at the same time give my thinking a general outline, and lose myself in a maze of interferences, where the trees constantly prevent one from seeing the forest.«2

»Oligarchy, integration, and divison of labor cease to be aspects of the history of domination, a dark forest you can no longer see, because it is obscure by the green trees of people‘s own lives. Instead, they become general categories of the socialization of mankind.«3

A. Insertion I – [(Control) Needs] Time45

When talking about music, it is certainly clear that we will have to talk about time and the anticipation of what is about to come. »Drum your fingers on the table when bored and the rhythm seems to speed the waiting on. Sing a favourite old song to recall happy times past or ward off fears of things to come. In countless similar ways, music has long been used to provide structure to the day, the year, or even longer periods of time: music for harvest time, for remembrance, to augur or forestall. […] Music is a machine for producing anticipation. Over the course of about three hundred years, from the end of the renaissance to the turn of the twentieth century, the tonal system of Western classical music was gradually engineered to become an extraordinarily sophisticated system for managing that anticipation. Certain chords would seem to beckon other chords to follow them. A sonata theme looked forward eagerly to its own recapitulation. Every note, every phrase would be precisely tailored to set up particular expectations that would either be fulfilled or frustrated, producing specific sensations in the listener.«6 I would suggest to assume this to be the general case of how musical form functions, not just for certain systems in Western classical music – its destinct mode is not all that important. Whether the music itself is repetitive & looping (as »time‘s cycle«), is continually progressing (as »time‘s arrow«, which is connected to a certain understanding of »history in itself«/Geschichte) or trying to transcend the feeling of time (as »timelessness«) and most recently polyrhythmical & -temporal processes (most probably inscribed by networked glocalization7) –, but while listening to music, understanding and ‚reading‘ of what happened (so far) will always impose anticipation of & produce what is about to come.8 This notion of music bears similarities to fortune telling9 (as in mythic times) on one side and speculative anticipation, an always updating calculation of becoming, (as in rational times) on the other.10 In both cases men fearfully try to control time, or more precisely the future, to fend off possible threats. On a psycho-biological perspective it is more or less necessary & inevitably – as we are all going to die (anyway), and the resulting anxiety following this truth produces the general need of control –, while it is important to note that the psycho-sociological conditions, in which this perspective is all the more powerful and imposed on each individual, happens through capitalisation in the grammatics of a future-past:

»Buying is prevention. It insures against death.

The inevitable. We all know our time will come. But if we follow the existential imperative of capitalism – don‘t crack under pressure (pick the right watch) – we don‘t have to worry about never having been. Even if we take a licking, our consumer heritage will keep on ticking. We will live on in the sparkle of our great-great-grandchildren‘s fashion accessories. Our purchasing present may vanish, but our future past will never end. We will glow on, dimly, the afterimage of the afterimage of our former ravine-riven presence, now stabilized into an objectified memory. We will not be forgotten (unless it is we who forget – to write a will). The future perfect – or to translate the more suggestive French term, the ‚future anterior‘ – is the fundamental sense of the time-form constitutive of the consuming subject (‚will have….‘: also readable as an imperative, the existential imperative of capitalism in its most condensed expression). ‚Will have bought = will have been‘: the equation for capitalist salvation.«11

From a cybernetic point of view it would be prosthetics: enhancements of our (bodily) limitations, that reach out beyond ourselves, in terms of body, psyche & time-space. As Herbert Marcuse points out in »The Affirmative Character of Culture« that as long as society is organized in false order, we will continue living in despair. Individual death therefore is not tragic in general, but is tragic, whenever it wasn‘t necessary, or more precisely, when it would‘ve been possible for humanity to prevent it or, even worse, humanity itself produced death. The problem is that we live in a reality, in which everyone lives on its own, neither true individuals nor collectives (can) exist (at the moment), and it‘s not taken care. In an emancipated society we could die without fear, knowing for our beloved ones to be good, for our own purposes in life being taken on by others; we will not be forgotten.12 As far as mankind is still living a dystopian-nightmare, we are bound to relief ourselves by searching for the good and beautiful in culture, an area inside society that – in terms of effect – was more and more separated from civilization & everyday life in general. In capitalist society it functions as residue (of dreams and the idea of paradise). At the same time, history always favours the winners, as well as in culture. The rest therefore relies on heretic messages in bottles.

To think of the different musical time-forms on a subject level will lead to another insight13:

  1. repetition & looping (as »time‘s cycle«):
    Repetitive structures point towards a pre-individual reality of daily repetitions without further development and progress, but as reason in it-self and necessity without further need for clarification, as in pre-capitalistic work. The individuum doesn‘t count and is powerless in comparison to the mythic and god-given reality. Subjectivation in this case is produced simply by repression and punishment.
  2. continually progressing (as »time‘s arrow«/»History in itself«/Geschichte):
    Continual progression narrates the story of bourgeois ideology in capitalist society. Story of the self-made man, rags-to-riches, and pseudo-individual development: follow your ideas and ideals, and don‘t forget that you got to work hard for them. Subjectivation is inter-relationally produced by discipline.
  3. transcendence of time (as »timelessness«): Transcendence once again dismisses the individual, anyhow just an ideological Fata Morgana, in preference of the collective unisono. Fascism and subordination in sound, as well as the growl of the unconscious and cosmological entanglement like drone music. Subjectivation is centralistically produced by control.
  4. polyrhythmical & -temporal processes (as in networked glocalization): Polyrhythm & -temporality point towards the schizoid & splintered, post-individual, always (already-)affected & contagious, therefore poly-vidual. Or more precise: Dividuum. At the same time bearing signature of the post-human imprinted. Multi-entangled, unfree, but not necessary enslaved,14 and poly-perverse subjectivity. Subjectivation is poly-centrically produced by self-control and control of affects.

1. Capitalisation I

«When society begins to collapse, violence becomes increasingly privatized. That’s because the state has monopolized organized violence. When violence begins to spread, it leaves the realm of politics. The organized violence becomes an economic activity, with societal unrest at its heart.«15

Capitalization is the processual logic of capital, which acts as a nihilistic operator of »various axiomatics«.16 Axiomatically insofar, as the axiom is

»an operational statement that requires no proof or derivation by other statements. Capital operates by the permanent addition or subtraction of operational statements that concern purely functional elements and relationships and remain essentially unspecified, so that the choice of an axiom says something about the economy, that important technical terms need to remain undefined, because only the attempt, to define all terms would lead to an endless regression, although endless interpretations orgies of the axioms are quite welcome and constantly wash around the nihilism of capital.«17

Accordingly, capital is considered to be essentially ’empty’ [nihil]. So capital should by no means be understood as an active subject, but as a relation. Therefore

»we define the concept of capital as potential or as unlimited movement (production for the sake of production and circulation for the sake of circulation) in which, starting from a present quantity of money, a greater quantity of money is to be obtained in the future, and so on anew. This potential made possible by the extraction of added value, is the effective engine of the economic system. The concomitant speculation is not a perversion of the capitalist economy, but a power function, indeed its essence. And capital is not equal to profit, which is merely a larger quantity of money realized by capital circulation. The finiteness of profit limits capital as potential but also itself. (The contradiction between infinite movement and finitude manifests itself in the tendency of the rate of profit.) The hegemony of capitalism is inherent in the capitalist mode of production, in which more money functions as the universal value, and thus the production of goods to increase money capital merely as means and does not constitute a purpose.

This logic of the movement takes place in the context of the total capital, which as a virtual power imposes on the strategies of the enterprises that they reproduce what is objectively from the beginning, the comprehensive connection of the differential capital accumulation, without ifs and buts. And speculative capital today represents the capital fraction that dominates the ‚real economy‘, whereby financial products such as derivatives are no longer limited by the structures of industrial production and their pricing is not necessarily dependent on them, although they produce real effects of the most drastic kind. Derivatives are a speculative capital of their own kind – a capital construct that manages the fabric of a highly mobile, cynical and opportunistic economy and circulates self- referentially in its own markets, but at the same time directly influences the »real economy«. Without exception, all capitalist companies today have to execute important financial operations. If capital as logic is the engine of the breathing monster called total capital, then the financial system is its central nervous system.«18 (Norfield 2016)

As we understand it, the social relationship ‘capital’ unfolds as an unilateralizing force through the determination-in-the-last-instance.19 It isn‘t (yet) completely total, but always totalizing.

Its productive forces unfold – to put it in Lyotard’s terms – as a sense-producing choice that works through the subjects and whose semantics go well

»as long as the growth of productive forces enables that of the economy as a whole. If, however, the productive forces turn into destructive forces, as we can currently observe, capital will change from a nihilistic operator to a suicidal fascist. And this phase begins now. It remains a question of probability whether dwindling resources such as water, food and energy, global warming, biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, chemical pollution, and changes in soil conditions will lead to the destruction of mankind’s livelihoods. But the probability is high, as much can be deduced from the models of climate researchers, which are based on a multitude of studies and detailed analyses.«20

The numerous proposals to save the environment from the circles of the eco-movement or modified green capitalism are by no means an alternative. Rather, they are part of the modified logic of capital. Mark Fisher expresses this in his book »Capitalist Realism« as follows:

»Everyone is supposed to recycle; no-one, whatever their political persuasion ought to resist this injunction. The demand that we recycle is precisely posited as a pre- or post-ideological imperative; in other words, it is positioned in precisely the space where ideology always does its work. But the subject supposed to recycle, Jones argued, presupposed the structure not supposed to recycle: in making recycling the responsibility of ‘everyone’, structure contracts out its responsibility to consumers, by itself receding into invisibility. Now, when the appeal to individual ethical responsibility has never been more clamorous – in her book Frames of War, Judith Butler uses the term ‘responsibilization’ to refer to this phenomenon – it is necessary to wager instead on structure at its most totalizing. Instead of saying that everyone – i.e. every one – is responsible for climate change, we all have to do our bit, it would be better to say that no-one is, and that’s the very problem. The cause of eco-catastrophe is an impersonal structure which, even though it is capable of producing all manner of effects, is precisely not a subject capable of exercising responsibility. Yet the appeal to ethical immediacy that has been in place in British political culture since at least 1985 – when the consensual sentimentality of Live Aid replaced the antagonism of the Miners‘ Strike – permanently defers the emergence of such a subject. […] The problem is that the model of individual responsibility assumed by most versions of ethics have little purchase on the behavior of Capital or corporations.«21

In the name of ethics, self-realization & creativity, the subjects, addressed as prosumers in neoliberalism, are again forced under the rule of capital. But this time, and I will come back to this in the following, it does not happen, however, as in the classical case of repression and control or government from the outside, but instead this new form of rule turns out to be a self-chosen rule arising from the subjects themselves. Only at the outer edges of society, or in the case of resistance, »does the state occasionally also use violence« 22 to ensure agreement with the existing. In the normal case this does not prove to be necessary, much more does the post-ideological subject itself believe »that everything is already doing with right things.«23 Contrary to the widespread assumption, we are by no means in a society largely detached from religion & belief, atheistic, society, much more does capitalism prove to be a nihilistic religion. As the Dialectic of the Enlightenment suggests, secularization is to be understood as a derivation of reason from myth.

»So this is what it looks like: Neoliberalism, which began as the ‚healing doctrine‘of capitalism, as a great narrative of success, happiness and peace, has broken all its promises when it perhaps realized itself more radically than originally thought and turned most of them into their exact opposite. From the utopia of a free market that really regulates everything, that brings happiness, justice, peace and perpetual progress to mankind, an apocalyptic disaster has arisen, in which the continuation is no longer explained by hopes, but only by fears. Not greed, but fear became the actual driving force of transformation. It is not hope that leaves them without alternatives, but exhaustion. But this neo-liberalism, which no longer promises a future but creates a total present, has become so much RELIGION, at the same time so much eternally running CARNEVAL and finally so much living ART PRODUCT, so much POP with the great gift of self-contradiction, subversion and ambiguity, so much charged with myth, lust and aesthetics, while it failed so hopelessly as a discourse, so much so that it resists ‘serious‘ criticism. This is precisely the moment when capitalist realism is replaced by capitalist surrealism.«24

2. Culture Industry I – Culture Industry Thesis, Spectacle & The Sacred

»Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.«25

»The sociological view that the loss of support from objective religion and the disintegration of the last precapitalist residues, in conjunction with technical and social differentiation and specialization, have given rise to cultural chaos is refuted by daily experience. Culture today is infecting everything with sameness.«26

In stark contrast to the general interpretations, which are done in many – especially english – readings of the cultural industry thesis by Adorno & Horkheimer, cultural industry27 is never to be understood as a certain sector or complex. Cultural Industry is a certain mode in which culture is (re-)produced, a form which is working throughout every single cultural appearance – its production, products and readings/interpretations. It is »intellectual production and consumption under the imperatives of commodity form and the associated administrative form. Cultural industry is therefore not an area of society, but a form to which intellectual production of all kinds is subjected.«28 Basically it is the transformation that happened to culture under the process of capitalization ( and is also at work in the division of culture & civilization).

»The spectacle presents itself as something enormously positive, indisputable and inaccessible.«29 The concrete content is leveled by the value form, giving way to the more general statement: »It says nothing more than ‘that which appears is good, that which is good appears‘« The attitude which it demands in principle is passive acceptance which in fact it already obtained by its manner of appearing without reply by its monopoly of appearance.«30 Guy Debord and the Situationist International understand the spectacle as uni/one-directional communication: The users are only passive consumers of the programm produced by radio-, tv-stations, newspapers etc.31

And therefore:

»all signs enter into such circuits – none escape.‘ With the Situationists, we can agree that everything arising in the spectacle assumes its characteristics: interventions will always be forced to assume the equivalence and vacuity of the commodity as long as an economic system dependent on production and consumption persists: ‚when images chosen and constructed by someone else have everywhere become the individual‘s principal connection to the world he formerly observed for himself, it has certainly not been forgotten that these images can tolerate anything and everything; because within the same image all things can be juxtaposed without contradiction‘, writes Debord. But the recognition that even the most radical of gestures is implicated in this process cannot be allowed to lead to petrification and silence. It must, on the contrary, serve as a springboard for subversive strategies of interruption and provocation.«32

The only common denominator, of all the different offers, is their interchangeability & arbitrariness, which results from the process of capitalization, each of them is only value for the other: in the commodity form, visualized in its most abstract form, that of money, there is finally a final, common symbol. The same experience of exchangeability and substitutability forms the basis of the everyday, individual experience: »If this individual is indivisible in itself, the smallest ideological and economic unit in social exchange, then it is socially very divisible, interchangeable, replaceable, fragmented, a schizophrenic an hysterical manifestation of contradictions.«33 Art & culture no longer are a means in itself, but always already planned as commodity for markets in mind. Therefor value-form is determining production in-the-last-instance.

»The compulsion of the technically conditioned idiom which the stars and directors must produce as second nature, so that the nation may make it theirs, relates to nuances so fine as to be almost as subtle as the devices used in a work of the avant-garde, where, unlike those of the hit song, they serve truth. The rare ability to conform punctiliously to the obligations of the idiom of naturalness in all branches of the culture industry becomes the measure of expertise. As in logical positivism, what is said and how it is said must be verifiable against everyday speech. The producers are experts. The idiom demands the most prodigious productive powers, which it absorbs and squanders. Satanically, it has rendered cultural conservatism’s distinction between genuine and artificial style obsolete. A style might possibly be called artificial if it had been imposed from outside against the resistance of the intrinsic tendencies of form. But in the culture industry the subject matter itself, down to its smallest elements, springs from the same apparatus as the jargon into which it is absorbed. The deals struck between the art specialists and the sponsor and censor over some all-too-unbelievable lie tell us less about internal, aesthetic tensions than about a divergence of interests. The reputation of the specialist, in which a last residue of actual autonomy still occasionally finds refuge, collides with the business policy of the church or the industrial combine producing the culture commodity. By its own nature, however, the matter has already been reified as negotiable even before the various agencies come into conflict.«34

The different agents in the sector of culture produce standardization of art as result of their business policy.

The change that has taken place is that from the commissioned work to the work for the market. Instead of producing for one specific client, it is produced for a broader audience – multiple clients. The ‚ingenius‘ (artist) subject was replaced by a group of experts. Resulting in administrative control of output. »When Debord suborned the mediatization of reality to a bureaucratic form he did not know it would become what it is now: we no longer need administrators who channel and concentrate power in some objective form, rather we have internalized these forms of power and administrate ourselves.«35

»At least within the art world, where the idea of creativity is almost embarrassingly juvenile, the slur hurled against those perceived to lack this ineffable quality is the accusation of being «derivative.« In other words, rather than originating something «‘new‘« and thus being ‘creative‘,, the artistic effort in question is seen to be overly dependent on the style or idea of another work, from which its artistic impulse «derives.« For artists, the line between «creative« and «derivative« is fraught and anxious, with other artists, curators, critics and buyers acting as tastemakers who (often, it seems, entirely arbitrarily) can decide on which side of the line an effort might fall (see Thornton 2008).«36

Therefore anxiety of failing to be »creative«, of not meeting contemporary taste, is at the basis of standardization.

At the same time Pop/culture (industry) is to be understood as quasi religion,37 it replaces god, after the death of god.38 In the same sense the Dalectic of Enlightment suggests secularization to be the process of the derivation of ratio out of myth. In analogy to Marx: Pop is the expression of »Hopes, fears, expectations, sometimes he even develops visions and utopias that soon find expression in social changes. In the end it is about elementary things, about love and death, loneliness, fear, anger, grief and redemption. It is about exaggeration and exertion and about sharing these feelings with other people. That could be tens of thousands in the stadium. Often, however, the strongest effect unfolds in small rooms in countless cellars and clubs, all over the world«39.

»[t]he beauty of art – unlike the truth of theory – is compatible with the bad present: in it it can grant happiness. […]

Because every moment carries death within it, the beautiful moment must be immortalized as such in order to make something like happiness possible at all. Affirmative culture immortalizes the beautiful moment in the happiness it offers; it immortalizes the transient. One of the decisive social tasks of affirmative culture is based on this contradiction between the unhappy transience of a bad existence and the necessity of happiness which makes such an existence bearable.«40

This is probably most clearly expressed in the childlike naive expression ‚Once more!‘, the fear of the end, of death, of dying, in short of transformation (& metamorphosis), is met with repetition. »And once it has taken shape in the work, the beautiful moment can be constantly repeated; it is immortalized in the work of art. The recipient can reproduce such happiness again and again in the enjoyment of art.«41

The role of repetition in Marcuse »The Affirmative Character of Culture« coincides with the one of reproduction42 in Benjamin »The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction« and rhythm in Horkheimer/Adorno »Dialectic of Enlightment«:

»The sociological view that the loss of support from objective religion and the disintegration of the last precapitalist residues, in conjunction with technical and social differentiation and specialization, have given rise to cultural chaos is refuted by daily experience. Culture today is infecting everything with sameness. Film, radio, and magazines form a system. Each branch of culture is unanimous within itself and all are unanimous together. Even the aesthetic manifestations of political opposites proclaim the same inflexible rhythm43

B. Insertion II – Rhythmanalysis

The social can be analysed and understood as overlayering, polyrhythmical structure(s), because everywhere we deal with interaction(s) between space, time & expenditure(s) of energy(s), we encounter rhythms:

»a) repetition (of movements, gestures, action, situations, differences);

b) interferences of linear processes and cyclical processes;

c) birth, growth, peak, then decline and end.«44

Lots of different examples of rhythmization in natural, social and technological processes can be found, i.e. circulation of commodities, wake- & sleeping-times.

The metrum, more precisely the monotonous ticking of the metronome, corresponds to the physical-social definition of time, as clocked & synchronized lifetime.45

3. Capitalisation II – Riskmanagement, (Stock-)market(s) & (the invention of) creativity

The unfolding of capitalism necessarily takes place in time. Each investment is potential risk, that has to be taken into account and minimized – in short: kept in control. A set of different strategies exist to do so. Interestingly enough they are quite similar in the sector of finance as in the one of arts.46

First of all, like in listening to music, anticipation plays a huge role. An ever increasing effort is taken to read signs & symbols, to project into future what will prosper and therefore in what is worth to be invested in for further success. Bringing us back to the problem of fortune telling47 in the quasi scientific disguise of Laplace Demon in the form of computer assisted probabilism: big data, complex mathematics, calculations & statistics. Futurology functions as cross-synthesis between different scientific disciplines, generalizing and merging them to render the future predictable.48 A general flaw, besides the quite obvious scientific difficulties of futurology, of this concept lies in the misconception of time, cause & effect. In reality, instead of reading, what they actually do is inscribing. It‘s their power of becoming real, rather than the adequate analysis, which is at work.

Secondly instead of investing into one project that necessarily has to become a success, investments, therefore risks, are splitted among different projects. Generally a mix is produced with high-risk, but also high-profits, and low-risk low-profit investments. Portfolio-theory describes the exact relations in which to split your investments for the best results. Interestingly enough, more or less the same standards are working in arts & music, incuratorial decisions which map the artists‘, performers‘ & musicians‘ portfolios to those of venues, labels or galleries

Thirdly investment, like stocks, are quickly transferred from one investment to the next. Ideally as quick as possible to become almost instant. In stock market this is done by using algorithms and automated stock investment combined with the ultra-fast internet connection. In the context of arts the same strategy can be and certainly is applied by following trends.49

»Yet creativity remained largely associated with the work of artists and authors, as the European ‚high arts‘ gained their creative esteem largely by contrasting themselves with more pedestrian forms of culture. Whether working in factories, on plantations or in various administrative positions, the vast majority of humanity, who were enrolled in European-led capitalism, were systematically denied any real opportunity for creative expression, and what little was afforded them was belittled and mocked by elites as uncreative: peasant dances, indigenous musics and workers’ popular culture were all seen as hopelessly derivative (see Haiven 2014, 190–216). In this regard, little has changed, but by the post- war period «creativity« had become associated with people outside the professional arts (Brouillette 2009). Promising material stability and affluence in return for productivity, a clear division of labour defined the Keynesian moment of capitalism and the New Deal, which left very little opportunity for creative expression for most people. But, when the first generation of post-war youth and many workers of the late 1960s revolted against oppressive and exploitative working conditions, they also revolted against a stifling and conservative cultural idiom (Katsiaficas 1987; Vaneigem 2012). Not just about «good jobs« or the nature of state power, these movements demanded the liberation of creativity and the right to define life, subjectivity, culture and human potential. The influence of authors like Herbert Marcuse (1991) and the Situationists (Debord 1994; Plant 1992; Wark 2013) stemmed, in part, from their insistence that capitalism systematically dulled and constrained human individuality and

creative expression.

As Boltanski and Chiapello (2005, 167–225; Rolnik 2011) point out, over the 1970s and 1980s these ironically became the watchwords for the reorganization of capitalism itself, as it incorporated both its «social« and «artistic« critique in order to shrug off the imposition of Keynesian regulations (themselves the residual compromise of pre-war anti-capitalist struggles). Under the banner of liberating individuals from the shackles of «big government« and paternalistic corporations, a new paradigm of neoliberal privatization was implemented. Creativity has became an economic imperative (see Raunig 2013). From industrial shop floors to the football-tabled creative labs of Google, all workers are supposed to contribute their creative ideas to make their firms more competitive while also embracing their creative passions and abilities – all in response to the churning insouciance of the market (see Lovink and Rossiter 2007; Raunig, Ray and Wiggening 2011; Ross 2003; 2009). In this period, as Angela McRobbie (2001; 2011) notes, the artist was held up as the «pioneer of the new economy«, their contract-based employment and seamless integration of work life with social life with home life with a passionate dream life having been positioned as a beacon to those «uncreative« souls struggling to make ends meet through the drudgery of multiple part-time, temporary jobs. To this we can also add the rise of the «prosumer«, the enlightened, participatory consuming subject who is conscripted to lend their ideas, energies, and creative passions to their engagement with highly tailored commodities (Ritzer and Jurgenson 2010; Zwick, Fisher and Darmody 2008; see also Chapter 4). To be clear, we need to make a distinction between the actual sociological trends towards «creative« work and the function of the celebratory rhetoric as a means to discipline and shape the subjectivities of workers more broadly. Most work (even work in the allegedly «creative« sector) remains mundane, routine and uncreative, and most workers have little to no expectation that their employment will ever be inherently rewarding or that their individuality or creativity will actually be valued. But something has shifted in the ways in which work is imagined and legitimated, and the sorts of promises that capitalism makes, a shift of which financialization and the ascendent discourse of creativity are both parts.«

(Max Haiven »Cultures of Financialization«, S. 139-141)

4. Culture Industry II

«Everyone just lives in their own cell,
and the system tames them
by giving them each their own personal serenity.«50

Culture Industry undergoes certain historical shifts, moving from Culture Industry/Spectacle to the mode of Pop (I, then II) and nowadays Post-Pop. While the ‚classic‘ culture industry thesis, as well as Debord‘s spectacle, assume a central-monopolist structure. Nowadays the spectrum has differentiated under the pressure of ‚subculture(s)‘. In the time between beginning of the 20th century (~1920) to the end of it (~1990) emergence of genres was successive. Around 1990 change was experiencable:

A) The integration of former independent labels into major labels as sub labels.51 This business concept proved to be a big success. Major labels could buy in and profit of subculture ideologies, the scenes and their infrastructure, and sell records to diverse groups of people: Creating labels for each (sub-)genre for directly addressing their audience. The whole process can be generalized as differentiation. Instead of offering one popular style to everybody, many styles are offered for people to chose from – all of them integrated: Niches.

A1) From a market perspective the idea is quite obvious:
While you would always lose potential customers to independent labels and their infrastructure, it offered new territories to be claimed and with them, new customers.
A2) From a control perspective, probably unintentional, it‘s much more intriguing:
As genres emerged and succeeded each other – like the children succeed their parents52 –, they were also always answers to former movements: Hippie to Rock, Punk to Hippie, etc. This placed them as incompatible with each other. People liking one genre wouldn‘t like or even detest another one. From a strategical point of few this gives a huge advantage: people fight each other over taste; social war is taken to the symbolic & identity level.
People would spread over different institutions in the city: certain clubs, shops, bars, etc. Like minded people would meet in the same location53.
»Permanent war is the central problem of the legal order. One way to limit war is to build fortified citadels, to classify and differentiate between those who are protected within the walls of the citadel and those who have no right to it. The latter, as a consequence, cannot enjoy the protection of weapons and the law.«54
While this was true already for so called »high culture« in contrast to popular culture, this change gave an extra twist to it. Offering new & better ways of control – molecular.

If the leisure industry, as described within the Critical Theory, has so far been predominantly understood as a delusional context, an increasing fusion with bio-politics seems to be emerging at present:

»In the future, part of the task of empire will consist in transforming the real into fiction, and fiction into the real. The mobilization of airpower and the destruction of infrastructure, the strikes and wounds caused by military action, are now combined with the mass mobilization of images, a key part of the deployment of a violence that seeks purity.18

Capture, predation, extraction, and asymmetrical warfare converge with the rebalkanization of the world and intensifying practices of zoning, all of which point to a new collusion between the economic and the biological.«55

Although leisure activities – or even just their availability – have served to draw the line between classes since early times, the correlation between ‘personal/character traits’ & ‘milieu/(sub)culture affiliations’ seems to be increasingly coming into focus. Rock concerts, techno parties or groups such as the Ultras reveal the subtle differences within police strategies that were learned, practiced & further developed in ‘war-on drugs’, ‘insurgency fighting’ & racial profiling. The alienated social is a complex choreography of hard-working and brave participants who voluntarily self-control their clans and gangs. Standardization, adaptation/synchronization & cliché reinforce each other, become hypertropes: Stand Alone Complex.

»Plagiarism in late capitalist society articulates a semi-conscious cultural condition: namely, that there ‚is nothing left to say‘. … The practioners of much post-modern theory have tended to proclaim this feeling rather smugly; but if there is nothing to say, they yet demonstrate that there will always be something to sell. On the other hand, there are practitioners active in many disciplines who, recognising the necessity for collective action demanded by media such as film and electronic tape, engage in plagiarism in an attempt to expose and explode once and for all the individualistic attitudes which tend to make all current human activity seem redundand and increasingly alienated.«56
The subversive decomposition of society by subcultures gives way to the control of the social field by these very subcultures:

»Wars of occupation and counterinsurgency aim not only to track and eliminate the enemy but also to create a partition in time and an atomization of space. […] Such collusion translates in concrete terms into the militarization of borders, the fragmentation and partitioning of territories, and the creation of more or less autonomous spaces within the borders of existing states. In some cases such spaces are subtracted from all forms of national sovereignty, operating instead under the informal laws of a multitude of fragmented authorities and private armed forces. In other cases they remain under the control of foreign armies or of international organizations operating under the pretext of, or on behalf of, humanitarianism.19 Zoning practices are linked in general to transnational networks of repression whose tools and methods include the imposition of ideological grids on populations, the hiring of mercenaries to fight local guerrillas, the formation of «hunt commandos«, and the systematic use of mass imprisonment, torture, and extrajudicial execution.20 is «imperialism of disorganization«, which feeds on anarchy, leverages practices of zoning to manufacture disasters and multiply states of exception nearly everywhere.«57

Engulfed in ongoing self-optimization processes, the subject, resonating as a fractal thing among other things, stumbles as an accumulation of labor & information; part of a swarm of info-borgs.

»A place full of secrets, a cybernetic organism in the broadest sense, long since become reality. With the help of writing, people can transmit messages to other people over any length of time.

The physical unity of man and machine, long feared and long foreseen, has been a fait accompli for decades, even if we usually don’t notice it. This is because we are in the middle of it and still rely on Newtonian reference systems, according to which reality is only what we can see or touch.

Which, of course, is not true.

We are all part of a huge construct of artificially linked nervous systems.

And it is invisible. We cannot touch it. We are the construct.«58

B) The emergence of rave culture.59 Important isn‘t so much the huge amount of new genres: Techno, House, Jungle, etc. As most ‚rave‘ styles can be related to former ‚Pop‘60 styles.61 More significant is the technification of existing genres, like an infection.62
Nothing is ‚Pop‘ anymore, at least how ‚Pop‘ was, but everything became ‚Techno‘63, or:

Post-Pop. Pop encountering Techno changed.

C) Interestingly enough for german Pop music another change has taken place in the 90‘s.

Until then Pop was always understood as particularly left, or at least progressive, or somehow on the side of individual, as being subversive, etc. At least for german children it was always part of denazification. A way to leave the boring, conservative, nationalist and racist reality. Finding home in a universal language.

With the emergence of rightwing pop music all of this suddenly changed. Surprisingly64 enough no one did expect this. »Rechtsrock«, it seemed like a flaw, a little mistake in history, something that would or could not take over. If we look back to it, now, 30years later, it seems like the starting point of ‚the popular right‘65; a shift. Nazis, people with rightwing ideology, producing ‚Pop‘ music can be found in every genre or style. Taking over strategies formerly applied by leftists. Like a subversion of subversion.

»Pop (since 1989) is no longer a secondary war venue or dispositif, but the frontline between friend and foe, covering up the uncertainties of left-wing radical positionings in the year 8 of the New German calendar.«66

»The capitalist relation produces a subjective sameness, but not without creating differences. It does not unify without dividing. This statement, and the many like it in the preceding pages, is not a dialectical contradiction begging for synthesis. It was argued above that the limits of capitalism have become immanent to it. This does not mean that boundaries have simply broken down. They have been made to coincide really, in virtuality every boundary is really, potentially present at every space-time coordinate. No particular boundary is necessarily in effect at a given time. Nothing in principle prevents a black from the South Bronx from getting a job, or even becoming a big-time capitalist (a few rappers have done it). The accident-form that is the subject-form is the form of the virtual, pure potential: in principle, it has no limits. In practice, it does. Boundaries are effectively set in the movement from ‚principle‘ to ‚practice‘, in other words in the actualization of the subject-form.

Another way of putting it is that the generic identity of the subject of capital is a global form of infinite possibility, but that it cannot come into existence without alienating its form in determinate content, in specific identities whose presence-effects are necessarily limited and divergent. A specific identity is defined by whether or not a given body is allowed access to the wage relation and the commodity relation, and if so in what way (how will it be self-consuming? What kind of presence-effects will it produce? What peaks will it climb?). There is an entire technology dedicated to determining the divergent limits of specific identity based on age, gender, sexual preference, race, geography, and any number of such socially valorized distinctions. Foucault‘s ‚disciplinary‘ institutions and ‚biopower‘ and Baudrillard‘s ‚testing‘ procedures (marketing feedback loops between production and consumption that make the relationship between the product and the needs or desires it supposedly fills a pomo update of the chicken and the egg riddle) are examples of just such apparatuses for the actualization of the subject-form of capital. There is no contradiction between different kinds of apparatuses of actualization. They coexist quite comfortably. There is a kind of nonexclusive triage of bodies. Bodies are selected, on the basis of certain socially valorized distinctions, for priority access to a certain kind of apparatus. African-American men, for example, are favored for prison and the army – on the basis of their skin color. Women of all races are favored for biopower on the basis of gender: the medicalization of childbirth and social engineering of the child-rearing responsibilities women still disproportionately bear. Priority access to one apparatus of actualization does not necessarily exclude a body‘s selection by another. The same body can, inevitably is, selected for different apparatuses successively and simultaneously. Prison follows school follow family. Each of these disciplinary institutions is penetrated by varying modes of biopower and testing. A black woman‘s bodily functions are medicalized and at the same time prioritized for disciplinary institutions. Generic identity is the coincidence of functions that may in practice prove mutually exclusive (capitalist and worker, producer and consumer, criminal and banker) – but then again may not. Specific identity involves a separation of functions in their passage into practice, sometimes but not necessarily with a view to exclusivity, often for mixing and matching. The result is a complex weave of shifting social boundaries. The boundaries are not barriers; they are not impermeable. They are more like filterthan walls. A black from the South Bronx may become a big-time capitalist. But the chances are slim. Boundary setting-or the separation/combination of social functions through a triage of bodies based on valorized distinctions- works less by simple exclusion than by probability.«67

C. Insertion III – Cybernetics / Kybernetik

«When you entrust so much of your everyday life to those electronic devices,
the argument that you arent a cyborg isn’t very convincing.«68

»Homeostasis (Greek: ὁμοιοστάσις homoiostásis »Gleichstand«) refers to the maintenance of an equilibrium state of an open dynamic system through an internal regulatory process. It is thus a special case of the self-regulation of systems. The term is used in numerous disciplines such as physics, chemistry, biology, ecology, economics, sociology, psychology, medicine and law. A system in homeostasis is a homeostat.«69

In no-input mixing, the devices’ own (secondary) noises – noise created by the building blocks – become self-amplifying sound generators, whereby the concrete corporeality of the respective device/system (as the interconnection of more than one device [1+x] or several systems [(1+x)^x) comes to sound. And the Black Box speaks with drones, rhythmic click & crack sounds, bubbles, squeaks, beeps & whistles. Interconnecting itself with the machine in exchange: the passive-active subject – listening to music.

It is a matter of moving from the concept of perseverance, endurance and perseverance to a level of experiment, of experimental and measurement set-ups, of (de-/re)constructions. Hans-Christian Dany finds an accessible, easily comprehensible description of this in the thermostat:

»The cybernetic view of the world is less interested in what things are than in what they do. He asks about relationships, differences, their change, the possibilities of accessing them. Feedback scans the changes with the help of translation into information. One of their most familiar applications is in heating thermostats. As an autoaton that keeps variables within set limits, the thermostat replaces the hands and now regulates the maintenance of a constant. Feedback compares the given room temperature with the desired one. If the room is warmer or colder than programmed, a sensor informs about the deviation. The controller adjusts the temperature to the setpoint again and couples it back negatively. Automatic regulation is intended to make life easier – a lightness based on the setting of a standard, while the deviations sound like obstacles. It is a lightness that moves things a little further away and makes them more strange.«70

From the sense of balance in mammals to the thermostat on a heater, from feedback rounds in the university or at the workplace to the »Internet of Things«: We are surrounded by feedback systems, small (or larger) homeostasis devices, feedback signaling devices. Most of those devices work as black-box‘s, closed systems, in which only input and output are visable, therefore available for analysis and the only hint on how the black-box itself functions:

»The fact that we do not understand the machines that we build and that we use to increase the power of men over men is not merely an intellectual or even ideological truth, but a social historical one.

It is as if we were under an evil spell. We live as we live because there are machines, but at the same time we live as if we could not give direction to what they do.«71

When audio is mixed/mixed, ‘equalizers’ allow the balance of frequencies to be altered: individual spectra are emphasized or attenuated; in no-input or feedback mixing, the ratios tilt: individual spectra are privileged and others suppressed. The same applies to the other parameters that can be influenced: volume, balance or effects integrated into the feedback loop or connected systems. Feedback, the amplification of certain frequency ranges by feedback, amplifies the input signal with itself – »autoblood doping«72 -, the already strongly present frequencies become relatively stronger accordingly. By adjusting the frequency and the corresponding gain (amplification, expressed in [dB], where +6 dB SPL equals an absolute doubling of the loudness), certain frequency ranges can be amplified or attenuated in a relatively targeted way – ‘attention economy’.

»Even during their leisure time, consumers must orient themselves according to the unity of production. The active contribution which Kantian schematism still expected of subjects—that they should, from the first, relate sensuous multiplicity to fundamental concepts—is denied to the subject by industry. It purveys schematism as its first service to the customer. According to Kantian schematism, a secret mechanism within the psyche preformed immediate data to fit them into the system of pure reason. That secret has now been unraveled. Although the operations of the mechanism appear to be planned by those who supply the data, the cul- ture industry, the planning is in fact imposed on the industry by the inertia of a society irrational despite all its rationalization, and this calamitous tendency, in passing through the agencies of business,* takes on the shrewd intentionality peculiar to them. For the consumer there is nothing left to classify, since the classification has already been preempted by the schematism of production.«73

The attempt of algorithmic recording & analysis of countless Liking-Ratings, Clicks in the Internet, evaluation of advertising contributions, physiological emotion analysis, etc. would guarantee a control of the human flow, just as the Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) would be a nice gimmick for further video games – who would not always want to control an airplane with mere thought power (EEG flows).74 At the same time, new technical possibilities are emerging in immersive simulation, such as binaural 3D sound, virtual & enhanced reality, intelligent architecture, generative code, Internet Of Things. For example, real acoustic spaces can be virtually reduced or increased in size, the location changed or events simulated. The long history of military use of Sound75 is based on the joyful expectation of sound emitters, acoustic room design, subliminal emotion control (e.g. through muzak).

Signalanalysis is a vast expanding field with growing interest and became one of the most important problems in information technology (technological). From a technological point of view there is no huge difference in data-, information- & signalanalysis. One of the most difficult, but ubiquitous, special cases is the analysis or filtering of noise (as, in and out of signals).76 And suppression of noise is an essential task in computer technologies. At the same time this task can be transferred to other disciplines. In empirical science it‘s necessary to understand what data is valid and therefore useful for further research. Especially in the context of big & complex data amounts – so called ‚Big Data‘ –, as well as in analysis of inter-relating data sets.
»The concept of noise is polyvalent and diffuse, referring to sounds that are subjectively deemed disagreeable or unanticipated, objectively described as high or low in amplitude or frequency, or in general to any sound at all. Noise may also refer to expressions of discontent or protest, to the spread of rumour, and to a particular means of strategic signalling, as in ‘making the right noises’. Furthermore, there are scientific or computational uses of the term noise, which have increasingly entered the general lexicon with the onset of the revolution in information and communication technologies. These indicate both data that are extraneous to consideration or meaningless; and to effects, ranging from the discrete and unpredictable to the continuous and inextricable, that disrupt the clarity in the detection or reproduction of a signal, resulting in low resolution capture. Whilst noise has a clear meaning, and is quantifiable in many scientific contexts, in general, and especially in its treatment in the humanities, it remains fuzzy, inexact, nebulous, vague and indeterminate. Noise is thus itself a noisy concept – it lacks definition in the computational sense.«77

Speaking of music
»‘Noise’ not only designates the no-man’s-land between electro-acoustic investigation, free improvisation, avant-garde experiment, and sound art; more interestingly, it refers to anomalous zones of interference between genres: between post-punk and free jazz; between musique concrète and folk; between stochastic composition and art brut. Yet in being used to categorise all forms of sonic experimentation that ostensibly defy musico- logical classification – be they para-musical, anti- musical, or post-musical – ‘noise’ has become a generic label for anything deemed to subvert established genre. It is at once a specific sub-genre of musical vanguardism and a name for what refuses to be sub- sumed by genre. As a result, the functioning of the term ‘noise’ oscillates between that of a proper name and that of a concept; it equivocates between nominal anomaly and conceptual interference. Far from being stymied by such paradox, the more adventurous practitioners of this pseudo-genre have harnessed and transformed this indeterminacy into an enabling condition for work which effectively realises ‘noise’s’ subversive preten- sions by ruthlessly identifying and pulverising those generic tropes and gestures through which confrontation so quickly atrophies into convention.«78

Of particular interest here are »the overflowing dirt, or formless remnants, as Georges Bataille has often described them, and how they accompany the cinematic and musical index arts from the very beginning: Noise, mistakes, formless parts of the technically transmitted. In digital culture, especially in post-techno around 2000, this now digital index filth was fetishized and/or reflected as glitch. In no-input mixing desk music, too, attempts are made to consciously keep out everything that could coagulate into musical code, so that only the electrical dirt and its voltage remain. […] If I’m what I cause, I’m shit by nature.«79

The feedback creates a self-regulating system analogous to homeostasis.

»The concept of self-organization, first used by electrical engineers in the fifties, continues Immanuel Kant’s idea that >>that parts of the same connect to form a whole by being mutually cause and effect of their form<<. In a self-organizing system, order develops independently of the actions of an organizer from the inherent dynamics of the elements, if within this there is no separation between organizing, shaping and directing parts and the goal of the system exists within itself. Heinz von Foerster expands the concept at the first major conference on self-organization in 1959 to include the notion of order by disturbance. He recognizes the deliberate introduction of noise into a system as a possibility to create order:«80 In this process the artist seems autopoietic and is effected by the machine. Only modulating interventions are possible. The artist becomes passive-active; contemplative & silent in conversation with the machine. Furthermore it‘s necessary to take into account that there is no easy escape:

»For the anarchist thought that leaving the order, the fixed and the fixable is a media-independent possibility for action of rebellious subjectivity fails to recognize that noise, dirt, and chaos are always fertilized (or even contaminated) by it, that one has learned to understand and read them as pieces of reality only through their recorded version. Indexicality is always dependent on a third, a medium. A noise performance is therefore in the best case two interesting ways: first the attempt to trace the experience of a defined undefined and to allude to corresponding experiences, to recall them, to make them recognizable – but at the same time also the completely opposite attempt to leave the dialectic of recording behind in the transgression pathos of noise that goes beyond any fixation and recognizability.«81

Noise, often (mis)understood as machistic music of perseverance, of the (pseudo-)sovereign rebels & individualists, has to be interpreted:

Noise as chaotic & algorithmic sounds, as complex structure or form, as timbre or texture, as (unwanted) remnants & traces or indexicality:

Foreign bodies.

Noise as effect & to be effected.

On the subject level it is necessary to leave the framework of sovereignty, to understand oneself as dependent & effected.

Swimming without any prospect of land; transgression in the direction of non-identity.

»By striking contrast with the new materialist idea of »vibrant matter«, which suggests that all matter is to some extent alive, the conjecture implied by Freud’s positing of Thanatos is that nothing is alive: life is a region of death. Freud’s later invocation of dualistic struggle between Thanatos and Eros can be read as a retreat from theforbidding monism of »Beyond The Pleasure Principle«, which argues that all life is merely a route to death. What is called organic life is actually a kind of folding of the inorganic. But the inorganic is not the passive, inert counterpart to an allegedly self-propelling life; on the contrary, it possesses its own agency. There is a death drive, which in its most radical formulation is not a drive towards death, but a drive of death. The inorganic is the impersonal pilot of everything, including that which seems to be personal and organic. Seen from the perspective of Thanatos, we ourselves become an exemplary case of the eerie: there is an agency at work in us (the unconscious, the death drive), but it is not where or what we expected it to be.«82

One possibility for noise as a critical strategy would therefore rather be to develop a ‘PRE’ aesthetic:

»PRE is ‘a negation of the errant supposition that spiffed-up or newly hatched movements supplant others fit for retirement […] PRE? As in: all possibilities extant, even the disastrous ones.’[7] PRE could be understood as Smith’s response to a quandary concerning musical innovation. The imperative to innovate engenders an antinomy for any given genre. Either one keeps repeating the form of innovation; in which case it becomes formulaic and retroactively negates its own novelty. Or one seeks constantly new types of innovation; in which
case the challenge consists in identifying novel forms which will not merely reiterate the old. But one must assume an infinite, hence unactualisable set of forms in order not to repeat, and the limits of finite imagination invariably determine the exhaustion of possibility. It is never enough to keep multiplying forms of invention; one must also produce new genres within which to generate new forms. Noise becomes generic as the form of invention which is obliged to substitute the abstract negation of genre for the production of hitherto unknown genres.[8] Generic noise is condemned to reiterate its abstract negation of genre ad infinitum. The results are not necessarily uninteresting. But ‘PRE’ intimates an alternative paradigm. Since the totality of possibility is a synonym for God, whom we must renounce, the only available (uncompromisingly secular) totality is that
of incompossibles. If all possibilities are extant, this can only be a totality of incompossibles, which harbours as yet unactualised and incommensurable genres. The imperative to actualise incompossibles leads not to eclecticism but to an ascesis of perpetual invention which strives to ward off pastiche by forging previously unimaginable links between currently inexistent genres. It is the injunction to produce the conditions for the actualisation of incompossibles that staves off regression into generic repetition.«83

Therefor noise in a musical context isn‘t anymore a certain sound or aesthetic, but a sort of negative approach to making sound.

»Both groups deploy an analytical delirium which steadfastly refuses the inane clichés of subcultural ‘transgression’ on one hand, while obviating the stilted mannerisms of academic conceptualism on the other. Neither sounds like ‘noise’; yet it is their refusal to substantialise the negation of musical genre that has led them to produce music which sounds like nothing else before it. The abstract negation of genre issues in the sterile orthodoxies of ‘noise’ as pseudonym for experimental vanguardism, and the result is either the stifling preciousness of officially sanctioned art music or (worse) the dreary machina tions of a ‘sound art’ which merely accentuates and hypostatizes ‘listening experience’. But by forcefully short-circuiting incommensurable genres, Shave and Runzelstirn engender the noise of generic anomaly. It is the noise that is not ‘noise’, the noise of the sui generis, that actualises the disorientating potencies long claimed for ‘noise’.«84

On a more general aesthetic level:

Fragility, awareness of transience instead of strength & (self-)assertion.

»>>there is nothing


the impossible

and not God<<

Zero is immense.«85

Overstrain, loss of control.

»Calling all. This is our last cry before our eternal silence.«86

»The archaic silence of pyramids and ruins become conscious of itself in materialist thought: it is the echo of factory noise in the landscape of the immutable.«87

5. Culture Industry III – Retromania, Hauntology & Simoultaneity(/-ies)

»Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self- selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language. […] The social revolution of the nineteenth century cannot take its poetry from the past but only from the future. It cannot begin with itself before it has stripped away all superstition about the past. The former revolutions required recollections of past world history in order to smother their own content. The revolution of the nineteenth century must let the dead bury their dead in order to arrive at its own content. There the phrase went beyond the content – here the content goes beyond the phrase.«88

»TIME MOVES IN ONE DIRECTION, memory in another.

We are that strange species that constructs artifacts intended to counter the natural flow of forgetting.

I sometimes think that nothing really is new; that the first pixels were particles of ocher clay, the bison rendered in just the resolution required. The bison still function perfectly, all these millennia later, and what screen in the world today shall we say that of in a decade? And yet the bison will be there for us, on whatever screens we have, carried out of the primal dark on some impulse we each have felt, as children, drawing. But carried nonetheless on this thing we have always been creating, this vast unlikely mechanism that carries memory in its interstices; this global, communal, prosthetic memory that we have been building since before we learned to build.

We live in, have lived through, a strange time. I know this because when I was a child, the flow of forgetting was relatively unimpeded. I know this because the dead were less of a constant presence, then. Because there was once no Rewind button. Because the soldiers dying in the Somme were black and white, and did not run as the living run. Because the world’s attic was still untidy. Because there were old men in the mountain valleys of my Virginia childhood who remembered a time before recorded music.

When we turn on the radio in a New York hotel room and hear Elvis singing «Heartbreak Hotel«, we are seldom struck by the peculiarity of our situation: that a dead man sings.

In the context of the longer life of the species, it is something that only just changed a moment ago. It is something new, and I sometimes feel that, yes, everything has changed. (This perpetual toggling between nothing being new, under the sun, and everything having very recently changed, absolutely, is perhaps the central driving tension of my work.) Our «now« has become at once more unforgivingly brief and unprecedentedly elastic. The half-life of media product grows shorter still, till it threatens to vanish altogether, everything into some weird quantum logic of its own, the Warholian Fifteen Minutes becoming a quarklike blink. Yet once admitted to the culture’s consensus pantheon, certain things seem destined to be with us for a very long time indeed. This is a function, in large part, of the Rewind button. And we would all of us, to some extent, wish to be in heavy rotation.

And as this capacity for recall (and recommodification) grows more universal, history itself is seen to be even more obviously a construct, subject to revision. If it has been our business, as a species, to dam the flow of time through the creation and maintenance of mechanisms of external memory, what will we become when all these mechanisms, as they now seem intended ultimately to do, merge?

The end-point of human culture may well be a single moment of effectively endless duration, an infinite digital Now. But then, again, perhaps there is nothing new, in the end of all our beginnings, and the bison will be there, waiting for us.«89

Retro(-mania) & hauntology were discussed a lot in the recent years. The original hype seems to be over now and still the discussion is present. Both topics seem highly related, although they mark different changes, and are to be discussed as linked. As is the ‚hipster‘90 phenomenon.

Retro(-mania) is easily misunderstood as simply reactionary, as backward-looking and nostalgia. All of this certainly is true to some degree, it misses a very important point: Retro didn‘t just appear at some random point in time, it has to be interpreted in it‘s historical context, which is the development of tools that are capable of doing retro-sound/-production. In music there are basically two technical ways to produce ‚retro‘:

1. Anold and analogue gear. Either because you already have those (especially for bigger and long-running studios) or buy them – cheap before anyone is/was interested or expensive if you are too late. The same thing with old (vinyl-)records.91

2. Simulate or model it. Contemporary computer technology made it possible to simulate, make (physical) models of ,old gear almost perfect – just reintegrate the noises, mistakes and inaccuracies as code.

Retro – besides its nostalgic and haunting side – has also to be understood on a cybernetic level:

a) as extension in time.92

Certain trends are not so much historical, following a universalized narration, as they are reenacted, simulated and local. Time itself became inhabitable; virtual realities.

b) as folding of time into space.93
There are places to visit for certain realities. Simulations of hippies, of punks, of techno-ravers run the town.

c) as [poly-structural (non-linear)] simultaneity of the non-simultaneous and the non-simultaneity of the simultaneous.

Trends wander around the globe. What is of no interest in one place, might be the most influential thing in another. At the same time genres get specified in regions, i.e.: Detroit Techno, Berlin Techno, London Techno, etc.
Retro enables the parallelization of inequalities, they become equal – the genres & styles – in being offered as consumable products on a versified market.

d) as spiritual, evocative and ritualistic practice; psychonautic and emotionally (self-)conditioning.

Instead of being fan of certain music, it is used to evoke certain effects. Music for sleeping, music for waking up, music for working and for learning, music to calm down, etc.

Retro therefore dissimulates time as linear. It denotes that we are past postmodernity. What was once new about postmodern thinking became standard. Interestingly no term has yet appeared to articulate this post-postmodern condition. Terms like late-capitalism or postmodern are rendered useless in denoting certain points in history. Are we still in late-capitalism? Is our world still postmodern? Where are we heading to? Our problem is: we haven‘t left capitalism (yet).

What is quite clear is, that it reflects the multifold realities of network society.

Hauntology reflects the loss of future, the loss of an alternative. We‘re stuck, like a needle on a record, jumping back to the beginning of the record again and again. Struggles that were lost. As well as the return of the past – or, to be more precise, of all the unfulfilled dreams. A constant re-cycle. It is an attempt to recreate alter-futurities.94 Hauntology articulates undead time. It is also a practice of retracing lost routes. Of getting back to certain points and see what other directions might have been possible. Or as Mark Fisher writes:

»Referring back to Hägglund’s distinction between the no longer and the not yet, we can provisionally distinguish two directions in hauntology. The first refers to that which is (in actuality is) no longer, but which remains effective as a virtuality (the traumatic ‘compulsion to repeat’, a fatal pattern). The second sense of hauntology refers to that which (in actuality) has not yet happened, but which is already effective in the virtual (an attractor, an anticipation shaping current behaviour). The ‘spectre of communism’ that Marx and Engels had warned of in the first lines of the Communist Manifesto was just this kind of ghost: a virtuality whose threatened coming was already playing a part in undermining the present state of things.«95

The same principle that Fisher described for the Communist Manifesto can be applied to the `68 movement, or event.96

The »hipster« as popularized subjectivity replaces the classical »subcultural« subject. Hipsters are omnivores in cultural appetite. They are not bound to certain styles and genres. It‘s a double-edged phenomenon:

On one hand it is the ideal neoliberal subject of »anything goes«, without commitments and super flexible. On the other it is pre-condition to leave superficial cultural differences. In this sense it is post-popular. Not so much one (monopolized) trend is governing senses as it is a manifold of trends. The hipster promises a way out of distinctional separation, at the same time it is reenforcing separation by producing ingroups based on expertise.

6. Post-Pop – Index-Art, Indexicality & Affect-Culture

»But there was more to Cage’s use of chance and indeterminacy. He wished to embrace the indeterminacy of the world and of performance, juxtaposing it with the traditional utopian narrative of a composition that exists outside of time and of the contingencies of its realisation. He placed indeterminacy at the very centre of his work, elevating it to an organisation principle, to a generator of experiences: ‘I don’t think we’re really interested in the validity of compositions anymore. We’re interested in the experiences of things.’ As Joel Chadabe puts it, the use of indeterminacy in Cage’s work points ‘back’, out of the electronic studio and into the liveliness of performance. (Joel Chadabe. The history of electronic music as a reflection of sructural paradigms. Leonardo Music Journal, 16:41– 44, 1996) It’s no coincidence that Cage is considered one of the initiators of Live-Electronics.«97

«The opposite of boredom is not pleasure…
but excitement.
People will gladly seek out any kind of excitement,
even pain.«98

Art for the past years is concerned with its own effectiveness. A desire to link art & activism can be observed. Artists searching for ways to influence reality and repoliticize art. Common in most approaches is their interest in affect(-ive behaviour). As affect seems to promise an immediate and direct access to effects. For many of them indexicality99 of media is used as tool to produce these effects, as they seem to be directly linked to their own ‚realness‘ and offer a mediated way of intimacy.

It is »[…] necessary to realize the fundamental necessity of embedding indexical, recorded (human- & real-)data« – a necessity, which by the way is not only valid for art, but also for non-artistic purposes. The more >>real<< the photo, the more an explanation in the broader sense is needed: from simple information about its conditions of creation in communicative contexts to symbolic or artistic framing and processing. This is the dialectic of the index:

It roars out of reality, but says nothing at first.«100

Affect describes psycho-physiological effects, so to speak the embodiment of emotion: Direct and bodily reactions towards stimuli. One of the simplest examples is the Pavlov-Effect, wherein a certain stimuli is linked to a certain expectation and immediate reaction as conditioning.

For Diederichsen a continuity of affect in art can be traced throughout art history. Those different art forms are connected by the concept of intensity/intensification (a short list of his historical reading):

→ sex & violence replaces pleasure & unpleasure

→ Queer Theatre (Stefan Brecht – NY), Screen Tests (Andy Warhol), Free Persons

→ Duration and collective passivity {Psychedelic | Minimal & Drone}

→ ‚Entertainment through Pain101 and repoliticization‘ {Industrial}

→ vibration(s), perforation(s) & contagion(s) {Free-Jazz}

→ aggression & seduction {Hip-Hop, Metall, Porno}

→ event(s), festival(s) & party(s) {not exclusively, but especially: Techno}

In this sense Post-Pop is defined by its interest in direct effects, mostly achieved by triggering affective reactions.

»Phonography and photography not only record organized sounds and images, but also always a piece of the world. In the course of the twentieth century, this uncontrolled and never entirely controllable piece of world became the center of the attractiveness of works of art, undermining the subjective, intentional plans of artists and authors. From 1960 (plus/minus five years), this had a fundamental effect on artistic formats, genres, and institutions that attempted to organize this new state. In doing so, they identify – without this terminology, because for a very long time they still considered themselves primarily artists – a logic of causation that works in the artworks and to which one must behave differently than before. In this way, performances are created that are both emphatically collective and then passive, based on poses and on making oneself available. There are euphoric reactions to the new power to be able to embody one’s own image, which is welcomed jubilatorically, but at the same time there is a growing insight that it is not pure performance that causes something, but that it must be reflected through the objective dead image of the camera – or that other objects, coincidences, collectivities must cause the artist to become an object, so that one must let oneself be made an object without ever being able to get rid of the subjective parts. Somehow one has to deal with the boring uff of the intention to abolish oneself to a certain degree in order to be able to end up as a living person and paradoxically all the more powerful in an image, on a sound carrier and finally with a recipient. The resulting effects resembled or were similar to those of sex and violence, and so one oriented oneself to their scripts – in the worst, cultural-industrial case [gross nonsense in the concept of cultural-industry] – by simply showing sex and violence (iconic) instead of getting to the bottom of the overbearing effect of indexical recordings. Index effects always need framing, even if it naturally incites artistic ambition to want to get rid of them, to fully match them to the drug effects that form the other metaphor reservoir with which they are compared. But the more important an awareness of what you frame becomes when you frame; what you expect from subjectivations and desubjectivations. Thus, in the end, a critical enlightenment still and again produces the best index effect works – but always against the background that the kick, the triggering, causation produces something >power< (also with authors) that one does not know beforehand, cannot control and that one is looking for precisely because of this. Hence the problems of a political art of intervention.«102

While the concept of transgression is a necessary part in all of the arts mentioned by Diederichsen and directly used as term by himself, it is not illuminated in a broader context. Which seems to be connected to the under representation of Georges Bataille et al. The history of transgression (in art & politics) is not taken into account much further, especially not traced back to early works – his research roughly starts around `68, because around the sixties recording technology became available to a broader public. Although it is mentioned that surrealism was already working in this field before.103 Further reading of Bataille could offer insight into the relation between the interest in causality, indexicality (effects (as caused by ‚the real‘)) and transgression. As for Bataille transgression is linked to the religious world, it is linked to the concept of the homogenous and the heterogenous – which is always outside of the homogenous world. Transgression of borders is not so much the transgression of moral borders, of the limits of a single individual, but it‘s the transgression of the real into our concepts and systems of belief. It transgresses beyond the human, to the inhuman or non-human forces.104

Still, he‘s giving important insights into different strategies that were pursued in the arts to deal with indexical effects. Post-Pop seems to be less inspired by high art concepts (of form) or pop(-ular) culture, but developes an interest for causality, is contagious (like a virus) and based around experience(s). To experience is the key to Post-Pop and replaces earlier values in the arts.

At the same time, without any necessity, Diederichsen is trying to get rid of the culture industry thesis, while his own analysis seems to be not much more, but an explication of what is already implied in it.
»The culture industry has developed in conjunction with the predominance of the effect, the tangible performance, the technical detail, over the work, which once carried the idea and was liquidated with it. By emancipating itself, the detail had become refractory; from Romanticism to Expressionism it had rebelled as unbridled expression, as the agent of opposition, against organization. In music, the individual harmonic effect had obliterated awareness of the form as a whole; in painting the particular detail had obscured the overall composition; in the novel psychological penetration had blurred the architecture. Through totality, the culture industry is putting an end to all that. Although operating only with effects, it subdues their unruliness and subordinates them to the formula which supplants the work. It crushes equally the whole and the parts. The whole confronts the details in implacable detachment, somewhat like the career of a successful man, in which everything serves to illustrate and demonstrate a success which, in fact, it is no more than the sum of those idiotic events. The so-called leading idea is a filing compartment which creates order, not connections. Lacking both contrast and relatedness, the whole and the detail look alike. Their harmony, guaranteed in advance, mocks the painfully achieved harmony of the great bourgeois works of art. In Germany even the most carefree films of democracy were overhung already by the graveyard stillness of dictatorship.«105

Despite his own analysis and critiques, Diederichsen ends his work – almost repeating Herbert Marcuse‘s »Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud« – as follows:

»The mirror of the recording brings liveliness itself. In Velosos’ song Nine Out Of Ten, a man walks down Portobello Road and hears reggae, probably from the nearby Portobello Market, frequented by Rastafarians in the 1970s. Infected and stimulated by the invigorating reggae sound, he deciphers at the same time its quite contrary message, namely that Armageddon – >>the final blast<< – is imminent. Dying is inevitable, but each time it is not only an individual scandal, but also a political one: the >> final blast<< has guilty parties. In this tension the singer repeats one by one – in English and in Brazilian – quite euphorically that he is alive, but that he has to die one day. Just as euphoric. And finally surprises with the title sentence >>Nine out of ten movie stars make me cry. I am alive.<< And there’s everything in it: For the only statement that an indexically represented star with image and voice can make in this indexicality, completely beyond all codes, is: >>I am alive, but will one day be dead.<< As a Brazilian artist, however, I know that this vitality from a dense cultural material was already there before; and that it is not a theatrical effect, but comes from the omnipresent popular culture. Suddenly, however, she also realizes herself as an object – which in turn is me. So I’m not just alive, like a conventionally live performer in his particular moment, but in my performance in front of recording microphones I’m always someone who’s alive at the same time, but will one day be dead. This is not the Western melancholy of the index of Roland Barthes, who got to know the effect of his dead mother’s pictures, but an index of animation: the fact that I will one day be dead, that the final blast will be necessary, enlivens me all the more now. Muito vivo. I myself am only one link in a chain of causations – and myself their recipient. As such, I can only have an effect on myself through effects that you can compare with those I have on you, the recipient: Nine out of ten film stars move me to tears:

»Feel the sound of music banging in my belly / Know that one day I must die / I’m alive / I’m alive and vivo muito vivo, vivo, vivo / In the Electric Cinema or on the telly, telly, telly / Nine out of ten movie stars make me cry / I’m alive / And nine out of ten lm stars make me cry / I’m alive.«106

A truly impossible sound sounds at past events, so each medium has its own index; a remnant, a trace, an impurity of decay (a sign of death).

»Even a non-affirmative culture will be burdened with transience and necessity: a dance on the volcano, a laugh in mourning, a play with death.«107

D. Insertion IV – Timewars, Hyperstition & Science-Fiction

»History is not merely a linear collection of points that we pass through on a timeline. They are connected by a line. No, perhaps it is more accurate to say that they are made to connect.«108

»Books are not just a string of words.
They are also a tool for adjusting one’s senses.«109

»Present Day.
Present Time.
Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha.«110

»The whole world is passed through the filter of the culture industry. The familiar experience of the moviegoer, who perceives the street outside as a continuation of the film he has just left, because the film seeks strictly to reproduce the world of everyday perception, has become the guideline of production. The more densely and completely its techniques duplicate empirical objects, the more easily it creates the illusion that the world outside is a seamless extension of the one which has been revealed in the cinema. Since the abrupt introduction of the sound film, mechanical duplication has become entirely subservient to this objective. According to this tendency, life is to be made indistinguishable from the sound film.«111

With the development of 3D-Visuals & -Sound and XR-Devices the ever more important problem of immersion – the effect of the Uncanney Valley with a higher degree of realism – is in precisely this tradition. While some films repeatedly used the phrase »This fiction is based on a true story«, the meaning has increasingly changed and it would be ‘more correct’ to say: »This true story is based on a fiction«. If books, music, theatre – the arts in general – have always been a decisive component of the formation of the space of the imaginable, the noose has become increasingly tight, and what has not already materialised somewhere in an artwork is not even considered a possibility. On top the performative part of (what is perceived as) real has been pointed out by a bunch of contributions in queer theory.

Foucault‘s work is based around re-reading history and while doing so, re-writing it. He is concerned with the production of truth – addressing not a metaphysical truth –, and the speakable: discourse. Especially in the sense of dividing sane and insane, as a tool to control those people in society which can not be imprisoned. Therefore his subversive practice can be considered as some sort of timewar.

Various strategies will be presented below:

William S. Burroughs suggests using tapes, actually tape is not to be taken literally, as a weapon. A tool to (counter-)manipulation. His text seems to describe our post-truth reality:

»Illusion is a revolutionary weapon. To point out some specific uses of prerecorded, cutup tapes played back in the streets, as a revolutionary weapon.

To spread rumors.

Put 10 operators with carefully prepared recordings out at the rush hour and see how quick the word gets around. People don‘t know where they heard it, but hey heard it.

To discredit opponents.

Take a recorded Wallave Speech, cut in stammering, coughs, sneezes, hiccups, snarls, pain screams, fear whimperings, apoplectic sputterings, slobbering, drooling idiot noises, sex and animal sound effects, and play it back in the streets, subways, stations, parks, political rallies.

As a front line weapon to produce and escalate riots.

There is nothing mystical about this operation. Riot sound effects can produce an actual riot in a riot situation.

Recorded police whistles will draw cops. Recorded gunshots and their guns are out. […]

Just pointing out that cutups on the tape recorder can be used as a weapon. […]

As a long range weapon to scramble and nullify associational alliances put down by mass media.

The control of the mass media depends on laying down lines of association. When the lines are cut the associational connections are broken. […] Consider the mutter line of the daily press. It goes up with the morning papers, millions of people reading the same words, belching, chewing, swearing, chuckling, reacting to the same words. In different ways, of course. […] All reacting one way or another to the paper world of unseen events which becomes an integral part of your reality. You will notice that this process is continually subject to random juxtaposition. […] The underground press serves as the only effective counter to a growing power and more sophisticated techniques used by establishment mass media to falsify, misrepresent, misquote, rule out of consideration as a priori ridiculous or simply ignore and block out of existence data, books, discoveries that they consider prejudicial to establishment interest.

I suggest that the underground press could perform this function much more effectively by the use of cutup techniques.«112

Sadly enough especially the alt-right and neo-con movements seem to apply these strategies with huge success. Particularly the term »InfoWar« coined by conspiracy theorists seems to reflect this.113 The same discussions we have on Twitter and other SocialMediaPlatforms concerning »Trolls«, two US scientists put a lot of effort in researching activity by the Russian Internet Research Archive: »For the foreseeable future, the trolls will still be out there, albeit in a subtler, more effective form. Instead of sharing sensational or downright untrue posts that attack a side, they’re resorting to sowing doubt or galvanizing one side against another.«114 And it‘s to be expected that more than one secret service around the globe is using these tactics. »Early on, Linvill says, the IRA mostly targeted Russians in Russian, relying on memes, links, and specific hashtag campaigns rather than more personality-driven posting. The group later expanded its focus to include politics around the world, and US issues in particular. As agents grew more advanced, their fake accounts turned to hot-button issues in American society. The IRA would devote time to creating elaborate fake news and even posted stories on CNN’s community pages, as Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, pointed out on Twitter. In response to Twitter’s 2017 crackdown on IRA accounts, theyturned to automation rather than continue posting individually115 Influencing moods & creating emotional-atmospheres is at the core of occultural strategies applied in contemporary psycho-logical warfare.

In one of their texts the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU) is reworking some of Burroughs ideas based around the OneGodUniverse, which basically is an alternative concept to the postmodern critiques of truth:

»OGU is ‘antimagical, authoritarian, dogmatic, the deadly enemy of those who are comitted to the magical universe, spontaneous, unpredictable, alive. The universe they are imposing is controlled, predictable, dead’. Such a universe gives rise to the dreary paradoxes – so familiar to monotheistic theology – that necessarily attend omnipotence and omniscience. ‘Consider the One God Universe: OGU. The spirit recoils in horror from such a deadly impasse. He is all-powerful and all- knowing. Because He can do everything, He can do nothing, since the act of doing demands opposition. He knows everything, so there is nothing for him to learn. He can‘t go anywhere, since He is already fucking everywhere, like cowshit in Calcutta… The OGU is a prerecorded universe in which He is the recorder’. For Kaye, the superiority of Burroughs’s analysis of power – over ‘trivial’ ideology critique – consists in its repeated emphasis on the relationship between control systems and temporality. Burroughs is emphatic, obsessive: ‘[I]n Time any being that is spontaneous and alive will wither and die like an old joke’. ‘A basic impasse of all control machines is this: Control needs time to exercise control’. OGU control codings far exceed ideological manipulation, amounting to cosmic reality programming, because at the limit – ‘the One God is Time’. The presumption of chronological time is written into the organism at the most basic level, scripted into its unconsciously performed habituated behaviours: ‘Time is that which ends. Time is limited time experienced by a sentient creature. Sentient of time, that is – making adjustments to time in terms of what Korzybski callls neuro- muscular intention behaviour with respect to the environment as a whole […] A plant turns towards the sun, nocturnal animal stirs at the sun set […] shit, piss, move, eat, fuck, die. Why does Control need humans? Control needs time. Control needs human time. Control needs your shit piss pain orgasm death’. Power operates most effectively not by persuading the conscious mind, but by delimiting in advance what it is possible to experience. By formatting the most basic biological processes of the organism in terms of temporality, Control ensures that all human experience is of – and in – time. That is why time is a ‘prison’ for humans. ‘Man was born in time. He lives and dies in time. Wherever he goes he take time with him and imposes time’. Korzybski’s definition of man as the ‘time-binding animal’ has a double sense for Burroughs. On the one hand, human beings are binding time for themselves: they ‘can make information available over any length of time to other men through writing’. On the other hand, humans are binding themselves into time, building more of the prison which constrains their affects and perceptions. ‘Korzybski’s words took an horrible new meaning for Burroughs in the library,’ Kaye said. ‘He saw what time-binding really was, all the books, already written, time bound forever.’ Since writing customarily operates as the principal means of ‘time- binding’, Burroughs reasoned that innovating new writing techniques would unbind time, blowing a hole in the OGU ‘pre-sent’, and upening up Space. ‘Cut the Word Lines with scissors or switchblades as preferred… The Word Lines keep you in time… Cut the in lines… Make out lines to Space’. Space has to be understood not as empirical extension, still less as a transcendental given, but in the most abstract sense, as the zone of unbound potentialities lying beyond the purvies of the OGU’s already- written.

‘You can see that Burroughs’s writing involves the highest possible stakes,’ Kaye wrote. ‘It does not represent cosmic war: it is already a weapon in that war. It is not surprising that the forces ranged against him – the many forces ranged against him, you can’t overestimate their influence on this planet – sought to neutralize that weapon. It was a matter of the gravest urgency that his works be classified as fantasies, experimental dada, anything but that they should be recognized as what they are: technologies for altering reality.’«116

These concepts are developed further by integrating analyzis of H.P. Lovecraft‘s writing. They suggest practicing Hyperstition (as myth-science) for producing hypertropes.

«2 sets of ‘ingredients’ given for hyperstition:

The first, from CCRU, is a four-part definition of hyperstition:

  1. Element of effective culture that makes itself real.
  2. Fictional quantity functional as a time-traveling device.
  3. Coincidence intensifier.
  4. Call to the Old Ones.

The 2nd, via Iranian philosopher Reza Negarestani and the Hyperstition Blog (again CCRU)

  1. Numogram
  2. Mythos
  3. Unbelief

Point 3: the question of belief becomes irrelevant when we understand any sense of reality of being composed of fictions.

Point 1 here refers us towards another aspect of Ccru mythology which must be expanded another time, but which from this reader’s perspective reveals and expands the fundamentally fictive nature of the seemingly given numerical underpinnings of decimal numbering systems.

On the 2nd element via Ccru: ‘Fictional quantity functional as a time-traveling device.’ O’Sullivan states that Hyperstition «operates as a future vision thrown back to engineer its own history.« For Land this was often Artificial Intelligence, lying in wait in the future to do away with humanity, and to which end capitalism was the engine.«117

To apply hyperstition is about using (fictional) storys to make them become real. Fake news for example, as Burroughs give examples, can be based on combinations of numbers and pictures: »For a riot in Santiago Chile you can use the Londonderry pictures. Nobody knows the difference. For example, here is a plane crash, 112 dead north of Barcelona and here is a plane crash in Toronto 108 dead. So move the picture of the Barcelona plane crash over to Toronto and Toronto to Barcelona. And you scramble your fabricated news in with actual news broadcasts.«118 It could be summarized as ‚Make people belief the storys you made up‘. More subtle it can be and is – consciously or not – applied in culture: movies, music, books, series and the whole concertation of them; i.e. in the years governed by the republicans, ever more zombie movies are produced – that can be linked to the fear of the stupid masses – and in the years governed by the democrats, ever more vampire movies are produced in Hollywood – which can be linked to the fear of powerful and bloodsucking leaders & ‚Wall Street elites‘.119 Even more sophisticated is the idea of a Stand Alone Complex120 as fictionalized in the Anime »Ghost in the Shell«, that suggests similar tactics as means to change reality. The ‘Stand Alone Complex’ functions almost like a mimetic self-fulfilling prophecy.121Reading it as political action, it works like an enhanced ‚Propaganda of the deed’.122 Make some action and make sure other people pick it up and repeat it.

»In the ecology of fear, how every, threat becomes spectral. Effect becomes autonomous from cause. Unlike earlier modes of management of the future such as deterrence, preemptive security, does not prevent but rather induces the event, no longer warding off its arrival in a negative anticipation; preemption positively actualizes the future in the present, or at least the effects of events yet to come, to the extent that the cause of the effects, that is, the event, need not necessarily happen. The effects are real, a real and present danger, while the event as cause, or quasi-cause as Massumi describes it, is virtual, a real and future-past danger. That the effects are real compels security to act on the level of virtual threat, responding to the actualization and perpetuating an ecology of fear. This actualization catalyzed by preemptive security involves the production of the signs of alarm as a response to threat, producing a readiness through inducing fear. By taking action in an unpredictable environment, security inserts a minimal dose of surety, a fear that has already been secured in advance. The fear becomes autonomous and escalative, self-fulfilling, self-effecting prophecy: ‘Threat triggers fear. The fear is of disruption. The fear is a disruption.’ In this ecology, the micropolitics of sonically signaling threat attains a reenergized significance. Both operating under and percolating through the mesh of language – from radio to rumor to terror alert sirens on megalopian transport infrastructures – the sound of the alarm functions as an index of this paradoxical, self actualizing threat. In preemptive modes, the sign of the event no longer has to wait for the anticipated event. The sound in fact beckons the event. The vibrations of the alarm literally set the affective tone, the collective mood. What is edginess, nervousness, or the jitters if not the potential of vibrations to spiral into goalless, open- ended hyperactivity?

This intensified viscerality of power requires and analysis operating on the preindividual plane of affect, in the turbulent boundary layer between subjective experience and the world, where virtual threats have real effects. Such modes of control modulation operate impersonally. A veneer of cognitive processing and phenomenological subjective agency therefore only conceals power’s real pressure points. As Massumi forcefully argues, preemptive power addresses »bodies from the dispositional angle of their affectivity, instead of addressing subjects from the positional angle of their ideations, shunt[ing] government function away from the mediations of adherence or belief and toward direct activation.« It signals, he continues, a mode of governmentality that can ‘possess’ an individual through the emission of sign-acts. The human actor triggering an alarm merely plays a catalytic role, enveloped in a self-effecting networked agency. In such a capillary network, the sonic security nexus is subject of the event, and the induced collective fear is object. Such a network effects bodily actions as a by-product of affective activation.

In Massumi’s theory, which is the most sophisticated synthesis of such approaches, the affective tonality of the fearful encounter precedes its bifurcations into subject and object. In the onset of the event, the body-environment acts as one, with an immediate continuity of the extensive movement of the body and the intensive affect of fear. The vector of the event, in its unfolding, passes down the line of flight, pulling the environment into its slipstream. The event bifurcates. The action ceases, its movement dissipated. The vortical blur of fearful movement congeals into the stasis of segmented, objective space, scanned for potential weapons or to retrospectively attribute causes to effects. What happened? Meanwhile the affect continues to unravel further, becoming distinctfinally as a feeling of fear. The fearful feeling that animated the whole unfolding becomes the feeling of fear: from the experience being immininent to the fearful event, to the fear as emotional content of the experience. As the event unfolds, it is interiorized and domesticated and passes from the nonphenomenal to the phenomenal. The continuous, qualitative, intensive vector of affective tonality is chopped up into comparable, relative, numbered magnitudes (more or less frightened). In parallel, then, as affect becomes emotion, sensation becomes perception and movement finds pause. The fearful feeling becomes a feeling of fear. The noisy feeling becomes a feeling of noise. Sensing becomes hearing. A movement of the body becomes a movement of thought becomes a movement of the body – a whole rhythmanalysis of the affective sensorium under sonic activation – the body as transducer of affective tonality, sensing as the qualification of affective tone, and perception as the quantification of affective tone. The conscious classification of an affective pitch or vector of feeling into attributable sounds is preempted by amodality, therefore preceding the designation of a sensation to a specific exteroceptive sensory channel. In this sense, the sonic encounter does most of its affective work before cognitive appropriation by the sense of audition. […]

The mechanics of film sound design are also revealing. In the cinematic experience, the fisson that acute fear produces – the sensation of chills, waves of shivers up and down the spine, goose bumps and hairs standing on (and piloerection) – is actively pursued. The interplay of fear and threat is evoked by narrative tactics of tension such as suspense, a gradual buildup through delaying the arrival of the event whose occurrence resolves the tension, and surprise, working on the effect of the unexpected, the unforeseen, a shock. Film sound modulates affect by tapping into and reqiring the line of attack, the line of flight, and the line of fright, the mechanics of the aesthetization of fear within music and sound design already gives clues to some tactics for channeling the negative energies of the ecology of fear, confiscating them from the architectures of security. Neither Virilio’s lament on the sonification of art nor Mike Davis’s total dystopias leave much room for such deployments. While sonic mood modulation becomes another dimension of the ambiences of control, it would be foolish to ignore the complex affects of the ecology of fear for the sake of a too hasty politics of silence. At very least, the transduction of bad vibes into something more constructive suggests the need to probe more deeply into affective tonality and the vibrations of the environment.«123

All the strategies explained so far offer tools to recreate reality and delimit the imaginative, offering means to alter reality. They are based around the control of senses, work closely at the limits of the perceptible, making (in-)visible, tactics of distraction, hallucinatory, modulation and production of atmospheric moods, and address the subject on a non-, un-, pre- or subconscious & subliminal level. Or »Unsound«124 politics. A common ground is that they are somehow linked to socio-cybernetic somato-psychological concepts of affect(-control).

The post-pop artist‘s interest in affect coincides with these new strategies of government:

»Less fear itself than fear fatigue became an issue of public concern. Affective modulation of the populace was now an official, central function of an increasingly time-sensitive government.

The self-defensive re ex-response to perceptual cues that the system was designed to train into the population wirelessly jacked central government functioning directly into each individual’s nervous system. The whole population became a networked jumpiness, a distributed neuronal network registering en masse quantum shifts in the nation’s global state of discomfiture in rhythm with leaps between color levels. Across the geographical and social differentials dividing them, the population fell into affective attunement. That the shifts registered en masse did not necessarily mean that people began to act in similar form, as in social imitation of each other, or of a model proposed for each and all. »Imitation renders form; attunement renders feeling« (Stern 1985, 142).Jacked into the same modulation of feeling, bodies reacted in unison without necessarily acting alike. Their responses could, and did, take many forms. What they shared was the central nervousness. How it translated somatically varied body by body.

There was simply nothing to identify with or imitate. The alerts presented no form, ideological or ideational and, remaining vague as to the source, nature, and location of the threat, bore precious little content. They were signals without signification. All they distinctly offered was an «activation contour«: a variation in intensity of feeling over time (Stern 1985, 57–59). They addressed not subjects’ cognition, but rather bodies’ irritability. Perceptual cues were being used to activate direct bodily responsiveness rather than reproduce a form or transmit deffinite content.«125

One of the biggest examples of hyperstitional fictions is the narration of capitalism itself, a self materializing-fiction, according to which people around the globe act and think.126

»The formlessness and contentlessness of its exercise in no way means that power no longer has an object. It means that the object of power is correspondingly formless and contentless: post-9/11, governmentality has molded itself to threat. A threat is unknowable. If it were known in its specifics, it wouldn’t be a threat. It would be a situation—as when they say on television police shows, »we have a situation«—and a situation can be handled. A threat is only a threat if it retains an indeterminacy. If it has a form, it is not a substantial form, but a time-form: a futurity. The threat as such is nothing yet— just a looming. It is a form of futurity, yet has the capacity to ll the present without presenting itself. Its future looming casts a present shadow, and that shadow is fear. Threat is the future cause of a change in the present. A future cause is not actually a cause; it is a virtual cause, or quasi-cause. Threat is a futurity with a virtual power to affect the present quasi-causally. When a governmental mechanism makes threat its business, it is taking this virtuality as its object and adopting quasi-causality as its mode of operation. That quasi-causal operation goes by the name of security. It expresses itself in signs of alert.

Since its object is virtual, the only actual leverage the security operation can have is on threat’s back- cast presence, its pre-effect of fear. Threat, understood as a quasi-cause, would qualify philosophically as a species of final cause. One of the reasons that its causality is quasi- is that there is a paradoxical reciprocity between it and its effect. There is a kind of simultaneity between the quasi-cause and its effect, even though they belong to different times. Threat is the cause of fear in the sense that it triggers and conditions fear’s occurrence, but without the fear it effects the threat would have no handle on actual existence, remaining purely virtual. The causality is bidirectional, operating immediately on both poles, in a kind of time-slip through which a futurity is made directly present in an effective expression that brings it into the present without it ceasing to be a futurity. Although they are in di erent tenses, present and future, and in different ontological modes, actual and virtual, fear and threat are of a piece: they are indissociable dimensions of the same event. The event, in its holding both tenses together in its own immediacy, is transtemporal. Since its transtemporality holds a passage between the virtual and the actual, it is a process—a real transformation that is e ected in an interval smaller than the smallest perceivable, in an instantaneous looping between presence and futurity. Since it is in that smaller-than-smallest of intervals, it is perhaps best characterized as infra- temporal rather than transtemporal.«127

It is engaging with the logic of prevention:

»As a reaction to this situation, prevention programmes are currently being launched, with the prevention logic always boiling down to preventing people from doing something they don’t even know if they will do yet. The whole prevention company lives from the prognosis. There are two systematic approaches, as Heinz Steinert and Helga Cremer-Schäferher have worked out: On the one hand, there are individualizing programs that individually start and work on those who show potentially undesirable behavior and could become delinquent. On the other hand, there is a model that provides resources and aims at a readjustment of constellations (cf. Steinert, 1995). Both approaches are committed to the common logic of making proposals for action in the present so that something does not happen in the future that has never happened in the past.«128

Speaking of Sci-Fi we have to speak of two different things:

1. Science-Fiction, as any other art form, is always an expression of the contemporary. No man lives outside of (social & historic-material) time-space. Even though Sci-Fi places fiction into distant times, it‘s always speaking of the already present. It‘s mode of narration is nothing, but an acceleration of present concepts.

2. Science-Fiction at the same time work as pre-configuration of the future (a sort of pre- construction).129 Especially contemporary sci-fi that is taking place in ever closer futurities and most of the time is dystopic,130 predefines and limits ideas of (alter-)futurities.

7. Sonic Warfare: Ecology of Emotions & emotional self-governing

»I am also postponing, for a short time, the exposition of my analysis of anxiety.

And yet that is the crucial analysis that alone can adequately circumscribe the opposition of two political methods: that of fear and the anxious search for a solution, combining the pursuit of freedom with the imperatives that are the most opposed to freedom; and that of freedom of mind, which issues from the global resources of life, a freedom for which, instantly, everything is resolved, everything is rich – in other words, everything that is commensurate with the universe. I insist on the fact that, to freedom of mind, the search for a solution is an exuberance, a superfluity; this gives it an incomparable force. To solve political problems becomes difficult for those who allow anxiety alone to pose them. It is necessary for anxiety to pose them. But their solution demands at a certain point the removal of this anxiety.«131

»Inhuman ecology in sound studies seeks to find a middle path between these two conceptions. Resonant bodies and sonorous facts, sequences of impulses and organized waves are being analysed as geohistorical movements of matter/information and environmental formations built on its base. Such an approach is capable of unmapping the processual mechanics of the sonorous field by auditing transformations of sonic flows as various resonating entities organized in territorial movements within a sociopolitical context as well as that of the art.«132

While Brian Massumi develops an ‚ecology of emotions‘, Steve Goodman links it to the concepts of resonance and vibrations. Developing an »Ontology of Vibrational Force« [that] seems to be a draft of the sonic thinking program:

An ontology of vibrational force delves below a philosophy of sound and the physics of acoustics toward the basic processes of entities affecting other entities. Sound is merely a thin slice, the vibrations audible to humans or animals. Such an orientation therefore should be differentiated from a phenomenology of sonic effects centered on the perceptions of a human subject […] While an ontology of vibrational force exceeds a philosophy of sound, it can assume the temporary guise of a sonic philosophy, a sonic intervention into thought, deploying concepts that resonate strongest with sound/noise/music culture, and inserting them at weak spots in the history of Western philosophy, chinks in its character armor where its dualism has been bruised, its ocularcentrism blinded. (Goodman 2012: 70, own emphasis added)

Goodman’s ontology is not only focused on overcoming the classical dualism of Western thought (subject/object) and »blinding its ocularcentrism.« It is first and foremost a piece of systemic thinking (how things organize themselves and reorganize themselves in the nexus of relations) and abstract modeling (what patterns of organization reveal in the process of such interactions): «if we subtract human perception, everything moves« (Goodman 2012: 71).«133

Both writers, Massumi & Goodman, develop ideas mentioned in the previous section. Of particular interest for them is the role of fear, which seemed to be the most accessible emotion for control134.

»As already noted, Sonic Warfare will not attempt to be comprehensive about the full range of sound- affect conjunctions but will instead concentrate on the strange nexus of sound and fear. If Brian Massumi was correct when he argued in the early 1990s that fear was our overriding affective syndrome, the »inherence in the body of the multi-causal matrix . . . recognizable as late capitalist human existence«, what critical urbanist Mike Davis has dubbed the ecology of fear, then analysis of these sensory tactics of affective mobilization and contagion will only become more pressing. The sonic is particularly attuned to examining one strand of this ecology of fear: dread.

Sonic experience will be placed in the context of a resonant cosmos that cuts across the duality of physical and emotional processes. The point of constructing this ontology of vibrational force is not to naturalize cultural phenomena in order to deny any possible tactical intervention, nor to suggest nature as a force of spontaneous vitality and therefore emancipatory power. Rather, the resort to a basic, indifferent vibrational plane exposes the inhuman entities that haunt the nature-culture continuum as it transects the networked affective battlefields of twenty-first-century geostrategy. The production of the ecology of fear is intensified under the shadow of »shock and awe.« An investigation into asymmetric attacks and deployments waged on the affective status quo within the microcosm of he sonic might have a much broader significance.

Finally, the sonic forms a portal into the invisible, resonant pressures that impress on emergent cyberspaces with all of their problematics, from virtuality to piracy. With increased online bandwidth, sound has attained a more central role in the polymedia environment of contemporary culture, unleashing unpredictable technoeconomic transformations resonating throughout global music culture. Sonic Warfare therefore also offers some insights into the economy of attention of contemporary capitalism.«135

Further the concept of »bass materialism« (Goodman) – propably Inspired by ‘base materialism’ (Bataille) – is developed.

To describe the shift from discipline- to control-society Goodman is further investigating the role of Muzak. Using it as a starting point for analyzing music as system to modulate affective behaviour.

»Early Muzak combined the so-called Hawthorne effect, in which workers would increase productivity when they were aware that they were under surveillance, with James-Lange theory in psychology, which pointed to the autonomic affects of music in modulating physiological responses such as breathing, metabolism, pulse, blood pressure, energy levels, and galvanic skin response. The effect, it was thought, was to slightly increase productivity while subtly maintaining the attention of the labor force during lull periods in the workday. According to Sumrell and Varnelis in Blue Monday, the shift to ubiquitous music and audio architecture in relation to Muzak marks a transition in operative logic that they refer to as from stimulus progression to quantum modulation. Emerging during World War II, stimulus progression tactically organized the day around the pulsing center of gravity of the human heartbeat at roughly seventy-two beats per minute. Increasing and decreasing tempo across the day could therefore produce intensification or disintensification. Alternativ between music and quiet would produce alertness by the oscillation between silence and arousal. From the mid-1980s onward, Muzak‘s strategy of sonic intervention shifted as a response to the already sensorially overloaded environment. Muzak in this sense provides a sonic microcosm of what Deleuze described as the shift from disciplinary societies to societies of control. From the surveillance of stimulus progression that constituted an early form of sonic discipline by Muzak, to the horintality of background, atmospheric control in quantum modulation that no longer needs to correct individual action directly. Quantum modulation affects mood rather than just trying to manipulate attention. In addition to modulation, Muzak, as audio architecture, helps to mask the babel of consumption in the polished postmodern surfaces of the shopping mall, airport, and other »non-places«. Whereas stimulus progression varied intensity and mood in the music, quantum modulation numerically indexed music in relation to qualities »such as tempo, color (light or dark), rhythm, popularity and so on to ensure that the same intensity can be maintained even as the music appears to have changed. Atmospherics address individuals as they traverse different ambiances through their everyday lives [italics by Goodman].« Quantum modulation therefore, simulating the logic of the DJ, attempts a smooth affective control by creating a plateau of musical intensity.«136

In everyday life we are not only aimed at by hearing muzak whereever we go, but tune ourselves by listening to our favorite music. It becomes a background sound, or better soundtrack, to our life.

E. Insertion V – ‚Psycho-Pass‘ – Measuring, Tracking, empirical Aesthetics

»The conspiracy theory of society … comes from abandoning God and then asking: >>Who is in his place?<<«137

»Psycho-Pass is set in a futuristic era in Japan where the Sibyl System, a powerful network of psychometric scanners, actively measures the minds and mentalities of civilised populations using a »cymatic scan« of the brain. The resulting assessment is called a Psycho-Pass. When the calculated likelihood of an individual committing a crime, measured by the Crime Coefficient index, exceeds an accepted threshold, he or she is pursued, apprehended, and killed if necessary by police forces. Elite officers labelled «Enforcers« are equipped with large handguns called »Dominators«—special weapons that only activate when aimed at suspects with higher-than-acceptable Crime Coefficients. Enforcers are themselves selected for innately high Crime Coefficients, marking them as »latent criminals«; they are overseen by police Inspectors, who have the jurisdiction to shoot them with their Dominators should they pose a danger to the public.«138

»Holloway: I’m talking about where do you hide something this big.

Hey, I’m sorry to shake your foundations, Quentin, but you have no idea where your tax dollars go.
Quentin: Free clinic doctors?
Holloway: Only the military-industrial complex could afford to build something this size.
Quentin: Holloway? What is the military-industrial complex? Have you ever been there?

I’m telling you, it’s not that complex.«139

In research centers all over the world the reaction of people to art is measured. The aim is to measure the actual experiences on different levels and scales: ratings (of the participants), facial recognition software, physiological measurement devices (for ECG, EMG, EDA, EEG), sound and video recording, and even more tools are used to analyse emotions. Those institutions work at the interface between neurology, aesthetic theory (musicology, literary studies, art history), medicine (clinical perception), neurology, psychology and sociology. Naively interested in combining their results with automated processing and using AI for further analysis, what is about to emerge is automatic emotion recognition. These data sets again promise to give insight in further development of AI, to provide a basis for algorithmic emotional intelligence (EI).

On another side different institutions under the names of »Psychological warfare (PSYWAR)« or »psychological operations (PSYOP)«, a term used «to denote any action which is practiced mainly by psychological methods with the aim of evoking a planned psychological reaction in other people«140, develop tools to analyze behaviour based on Big Data. Using data sets of GPS, movement tracking, posts in social media, reactions on commercials in the net (usually described as ‚microtargeting‘), etc. Widely known is the work of ‚Cambridge Analytica‘, which actively engaged in elections around the world, trying to influence their results. The target is not so much the single individual (on a small scale), but to influence trends in regions. Social media data has already been used to test psychological health of people.

Although this technology is at the beginning and waiting for further development – and many results of these are still bad. Their existence calls for use.

»Quentin: Why put people in it?
Worth: Because it’s here. You have to use it, or you admit it’s pointless.

Quentin: But it, it is pointless.

Worth: Quentin… that’s my point.«141

It‘s not so much about stating that there is a plan behind. Especially not a secret society. The Problem is more one of a division of labour. »’Any sufficiently advanced technology’, wrote the inventor of the geostationary satellite system, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, ‘is indistinguishable from magic’. What he means is that in order to understand the functioning of the most advanced machines, one must know more than most of those who operate them.«142

»Insisting that secrecy is the exception to a free society of abundant information, the spectacle makes a virtue out of its concealed knowledges. ‚Everyone accepts that there are inevitably little areas of secrecy reserved for specialists; as regards things in general, many believe they are in one the secret,‘ writes Debord. But this secrecy runs deeper still; it ‚dominates this world, and first and foremost as the secret of domination‘, since it is always the very existence of any system of domination which is perpetually denied.«143

1Theodor W. Adorno »Reflections on Class Theory«

2Georges Bataille »The Accursed Share – An Essay on General Economy«

3Theodor W. Adorno »Reflections on Class Theory«

4The Black Dog – Control Needs Time

5»When I become Death, Death is the seed from which I grow…

Itzama, spirit of early mist and showers.
Ixtaub, goddess of ropes and snares.
Ixchel, the spider web, catcher of morning dew.
Zooheekock, virgin fire patroness of infants.
Adziz, the master of cold.
Kockupocket, who works in fire.
Ixtahdoom, she who spits out precious stones.
Ixchunchan, the dangerous one.
Ah Pook, the destroyer.

Hiroshima, 1945, August 6, sixteen minutes past 8 AM.

Who really gave that order?

Answer: Control.

Answer: The Ugly American.

Answer: The instrument of Control.

Question: If Control’s control is absolute, why does Control need to control?

Answer: Control… needs time.

Question: Is Control controlled by its need to control?

Answer: Yes.

Why does Control need humans, as you call them?

Answer: Wait… wait! Time, a landing field. Death needs time like a junkie needs junk.

And what does Death need time for?

Answer: The answer is sooo simple. Death needs time for what it kills to grow in, for Ah Pook’s sake.

Death needs time for what it kills to grow in, for Ah Pook’s sweet sake, you stupid vulgar greedy ugly American death-sucker.

Death needs time for what it kills to grow in, for Ah Pook’s sweet sake, you stupid vulgar greedy ugly American death-sucker… Like this.

We have a new type of rule now. Not one man rule, or rule of aristocracy, or plutocracy, but of small groups elevated to positions of absolute power by random pressures and subject to political and economic factors that leave little room for decision. They are representatives of abstract forces who’ve reached power through surrender of self. The iron-willed dictator is a thing of the past. There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers. The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.« (William S. Burroughs »Ah Pook and other texts«)

6Robert Barry »The Music of the Future«

7Interestingly enough this idea is not all that new. Polyrhythmical structures are used in music for a long time already and in various different ways. Due to rising importance of non-western cultures in contemporary time and excessive exploitation of non-western musics as novelties, we come to listen to it more often in Europe. But for understanding the underlying concept it might prove most useful, instead of listening to music (while Jlin might give a superb and well reflected example), to take a look at the western-sci-fi series »Firefly« by Joss Whedon: Firefly describes a world in which mankind spread far out into the universe, but instead of offering an all to optimistic utopia – like Star Trek (which, watched nowadays, seems in all to many aspects more like a dystopic prophecy of our contemporary reality) – or providing an oversimplified dystopic outlook, it reflects poly-temporal development of economy & governance in space. Or in writing with W. Benjamin‘s hands: what we experience is the simultaneity of the non-simultaneous and the non-simultaneity of the simultaneous at the level of world order; variabilities of tempo(s) and non-linearity(/-ies) of history(/-ies).

8»To articulate what is past does not mean to recognize »how it really was.« It means to take control of a memory, as it flashes in a moment of danger. For historical materialism it is a question of holding fast to a picture of the past, just as if it had unexpectedly thrust itself, in a moment of danger, on the historical subject. The danger threatens the stock of tradition as much as its recipients. For both it is one and the same: handing itself over as the tool of the ruling classes. In every epoch, the attempt must be made to deliver tradition anew from the conformism which is on the point of overwhelming it. For the Messiah arrives not merely as the Redeemer; he also arrives as the vanquisher of the Anti-Christ. The only writer of history with the gift of setting alight the sparks of hope in the past, is the one who is convinced of this: that not even the dead will be safe from the enemy, if he is victorious. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious.« (Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History)

Simon Reynolds even proposes another new time-form for contemporary ‚conceptronica‘ music:
»Immensity of scale applies not just to the physical dimensions of these virtual worlds, but their propensity to extend themselves through time. In his book Digimodernism, the critic Alan Kirby identifies »onwardness and endlessness« as hallmarks of 21st century culture: page-turning propulsiveness, the unfolding of saga-like narratives teeming with plotlines, characters, and locations, spawning prequels and sequels galore.«
( https://pitchfork.com/features/article/2010s-rise-of-conceptronica-electronic-music/ )

9»He who asks fortunetellers the future unwittingly forfeits an inner intimation of coming events that is a thousand times more exact than anything they may say. He is impelled by inertia, rather than curiosity, and nothing is more unlike the submissive apathy with which he hears his fate revealed than the alert dexterity with which the man of coursage lays hands on the future. For presence of mind is an extract of the future, and precise awareness of the present moment more decisive than foreknowledge of the most distand events. Omens, presentiments, signals pass day and night through our organism like wave impulses. To interpret them or to use them, that is the question. The two are irreconcilable. Cowardice and apathy counsel the former, lucidity and freedom the latter. For before such prophecy or warning has been mediated by word or image it has lost its vitality the power to strike at our center and force us, we scarcely know how, to act accordingly. If we neglect to do so, and only then, the message is deciphered. We read it. But it is now too late. Hence, when you are taken unawares by an outbreak of fire or the news of a death, there is in the first mute shock a feeling of guilt, the indistinct reproach: did you really not know of this? […] Like ultraviolet rays memory shows to each man in the book of life a script that invisibly and prophetically glosses the text. But it is not with impunity that these intentions are exchanged, that unlived life is handed over to cards, spirits, stars, to be in an instant squandered, misused, and returned to us disfigured; we do not go unpunished for cheating the body of its power to meet the fates on its own ground and triumph. The moment is the Claudine Yoke beneath which fate must bow to the body. To turn the threatening future into a fulfilled now, the only desirable telepathic miracle, is a work of bodily presence of mind. […] Each morning the day lies like a fresh shirt on our bed; this incomparably fine, incomparably tightly woven tissue of pure prediction fits us perfectly. The happiness of the next twenty-four hours depends on our ability, on waking, to pick it up.« (Walter Benjamin »Madame Ariane: Second Courtyard on the Left«)

10With modern (computer) technology there‘s a notable comeback of ‚laplace‘s demon‘:

We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at a certain moment would know all forces that set nature in motion, and all positions of all items of which nature is composed, if this intellect were also vast enough to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in a single formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the tiniest atom; for such an intellect nothing would be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes.

(Pierre Simon Laplace, A Philosophical Essay on Probabilities)
At the same time computer simulations of different scenarios are constantly processed. This idea has been explored in-depth by Rainer Werner Fassbinder in his movie »World on Wire« (»Welt am Draht«).

11Brian Massumi »The Politics of Everyday Fear«, p.9

12»When you are powerless, something can happen to you and afterwards it has not happened. For you, it happened, but somehow they remember it differently, or don‘t remember it at all. You Can tell them, but it slips their minds. When you are powerless, everything you do seems to be in vain. […] Your road seems dark. Your path is not clear […]« (Hari Kunzru »White Tears«)

«What isn’t remembered never happened.«
«If you’re not remembered, then you never existed.« (both: Lain Iwakura in the anime »Serial Experiments Lain«)

13While to easy as absolute generalizations, the provided schematics of different meanings of time-forms in music provide certain insights into music itself, subjectivation, psyche, control-forms, the social, etc.

14While ‚slave‘ as a technological term might prove useful.to describe a system‘s synchronization between ‚master‘- & ‚slave‘-machine.

15 »Psycho-Pass: The Movie«

16Achim Szepanski »Imperialismus, Staatsfaschisierung und die Kriegsmaschinen des Kapitals – Drei Essays«



19»>>[D]etermination-in-the-last-instance is the causality which renders it universally possible for any object X to determine its own ‚real‘ cognition, but only in the last instance […] X […] is not known in exteriority, in idealist fashion, but by itself without this identity between the real and its cognition assuming a dialectical form (real = rational, etc.) since it takes the form of determination-in-the-last-instance. There is no transcendent subject; cognition is the subject, its ‚own‘ subject so to speak, as much as its own object, but only by virtue of the ‚last-instance‘ of the real. It is as though we were to insist that the ‚matter‘ of materialism should cognize itself and be capable of its own theorisation without having to pass through dialectical identity or some other philosophical apparatus designed to ensure the reversibility between the known object and the knowledge of the object. […] Cognition is heterogeneous to the known object, but it is the latter which determines it in the last instance. The object X is at once – though without being divided philosophically – cause-of-the-last-instance of its own knowledge and known object. […] The old problem of the possibility of knowledge is not resolved by invoking a transcendental subject or foundation but by the real‘s being-foreclosed to knowledge, or by every object‘s being-foreclosed to its own cognition; a being-foreclosed which does not render knowledge possible but rather determines it.<< (Laruelle 2000: 48-9)« (Ray Brassier »Nihil Unbound – Enlightment And Extinction«, p. 138/139)

20Achim Szepanski »Imperialismus, Staatsfaschisierung und die Kriegsmaschinen des Kapitals – Drei Essays« ; Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

21Mark Fisher »Capitalist Realism«

22Achim Szepanski »Imperialismus, Staatsfaschisierung und die Kriegsmaschinen des Kapitals – Drei Essays« ; Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator


24Markus Metz & Georg Seeßlen »Kapitalistischer (Sur)realismus« ; Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

25Karl Marx »A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right«

26Theodor W. Adorno & Max Horkheimer »Dialectic of Enlightment«, beginning of chapter »The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception«

27In this text the terms »culture industry / affirmative culture / art in the age of mechanical reproduction«, »(society of the) spectacle« & »Pop« will be used as quasi-synonymous terms of the same phenomenon described from slightly different perspectives deriving out of different ‚schools‘ – namely: Frankfurt School or Critical Theory, Guy Debord or the Situationist International and certain german pop leftists (mainly centered around the magazine »testcard« and those related to it). While a close reading of these theories offers distinctions to be made in form of repetitions and differences, it is certainly true that beneath all those different approaches lies one and the same problem.

28Heinz Steinert
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

29Guy Debord »Society of the Spectacle«


31Although networks, that activate consumers to participate, exist nowadays, participation in these cases is captured by structure & form: facebook, soundcloud, youtube, etc. offer platforms that are curated by algorithms.

32Sadie Plant »The Most Radical Gesture – The Situationist International In A Postmodern Age«

33Roger Behrens »Kulturindustrie«
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

34Theodor W. Adorno & Max Horkheimer »Dialectic of Enlightment«, beginning of chapter »The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception«


36Max Haiven »Cultures of Financialization«

37The formation of Pop is a cult of cults. »Acéphale«, the cult founded by Georges Bataille et al, is a template of it.

38»>>Where has God gone?<< he cried. >>I shall tell you. We have killed him – you and I. We are his murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What did we do when we unchained the earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving now? Away from all suns? Are we not perpetually falling? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there any up or down left? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is it not more and more night coming on all the time? Must not lanterns be lit in the morning? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we not smell anything yet of God’s decomposition? Gods too decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves? That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives. Who will wipe this blood off us? With what water could we purify ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we need to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we not ourselves become gods simply to be worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whosoever shall be born after us – for the sake of this deed he shall be part of a higher history than all history hitherto.<<

Here the madman fell silent and again regarded his listeners; and they too were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern to the ground, and it broke and went out. >>I have come too early,<< he said then; >>my time has not come yet. The tremendous event is still on its way, still travelling – it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time, the light of the stars requires time, deeds require time even after they are done, before they can be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than the distant stars – and yet they have done it themselves.<<

It has been further related that on that same day the madman entered divers churches and there sang a requiem. Led out and quietened, he is said to have retorted each time: >>what are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchres of God?<<« (Friedrich Nietzsche »The Gay Science«)

39M. Büsser »On the wild side«, S.229 ; Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
The places of art & popular culture: museums, clubs, etc. are quasi sacred. Entered & build for a certain purpose. Spaces for believers. And set up for certain durations.

40Herbert Marcuse »The Affirmative Character of Culture« ; Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator


42We should note, that humanity moved from mechanical reproduction to copying to replication (refering to ‚replicants‘ in »Blade Runner« or the ‚replicator‘ in »Star Trek«).

43Theodor W. Adorno & Max Horkheimer »Dialectic of Enlightment«, beginning of chapter »The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception«
It‘s interesting to note, that while rhythm itself never was an important category of analysis in Critical Theory, the term is used frequently in the »Dialectic of Enlightment«.

44Henri Lefebvre »Rhythmanalysis – Space, Time And Everyday Life«, S. 25

45»”Who would believe it! It is said that, incensed at the hour, / Latter-day Joshuas, at the foot of every clocktower, / Were ring on clock faces to make the day stand still” At this point a note: »”This is a unique feature in the history of the insurrection: it is the only act of vandalism carried out by the people against public monuments. And what vandalism! How well it expresses the situation of hearts and minds on the evening of the twenty-eighth! With what rage one watched the shadows falling and the implacable advance of the needle toward night – just as on ordinary days! What was most singular ahout this episode was that it was observed, at the very same hour, in different parts of the city. This was the expression not of an aberrant notion, an isolated whim, hut of a widespread, nearly general sentiment.« Barthelemy and Mery, L’Insurrection: Poeme dedie aux Parisiens (Paris, 1830), pp. 22, 52.« (Walter Benjamin »The Arcade Project«)

46For more detailed informations on the relationship between art & capital take a look at:

Jacques Attali »Noise: The Political Economy of Music«
Diedrich Diederichsen »On (Surplus) Value In Art«

Max Haiven »Art after Money, Money after Art«, »Cultures of Financialization«
Markus Metz, Georg Seeßlen »Geld frisst Kunst – Kunst frisst Geld«, »Kapitalistischer Surrealismus«
Achim Szepanski »Ultrablack Of Music – Feindliche Übernahme«

47»Surely the time of the soothsayers, who divined what lay hidden in the lap of the future, was experienced neither as homogenous nor as empty. Whoever keeps this in mind will perhaps have an idea of how past time was experienced as remembrance: namely, just the same way. It is well-known that the Jews were forbidden to look into the future. The Torah and the prayers instructed them, by contrast, in remembrance. This disenchanted those who fell prey to the future, who sought advice from the soothsayers. For that reason the future did not, however, turn into a homogenous and empty time for the Jews. For in it every second was the narrow gate, through which the Messiah could enter.« (Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History)

48»Historicism contents itself with establishing a causal nexus of various moments of history. But no state of affairs is, as a cause, already a historical one. It becomes this, posthumously, through eventualities which may be separated from it by millennia. The historian who starts from this, ceases to permit the consequences of eventualities to run through the fingers like the beads of a rosary. He records [erfasst] the constellation in which his own epoch comes into contact with that of an earlier one. He thereby establishes a concept of the present as that of the here-and-now, in which splinters of messianic time are shot through.« (Walter Benjamin, On the Concept of History)

49A quite obvious contemporary example is the genre »trap« or the sound aesthetics of so called »berlin techno«. By quicky adapting to certain trends and aesthetics, you can always jump into an already existing flow. While general success might be less, risk is also reduced. A few decades ago this would be the case for what was back then called ‚pop music‘. Music that was experimental and/or minoritarian at a certain point would be used for a broader ‚mainstream‘ audiences.
There‘s no intention to imply one to be better than the other, or to make oversimplified distinction between subculture(s) vs. mainstream. Bourdieu has already said everything necessary about these distinctions in »Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste«.

»Unending sameness also governs the relationship to the past. What is new in the phase of mass culture compared to that of late liberalism is the exclusion of the new. The machine is rotating on the spot. While it already determines consumption, it rejects anything untried as a risk. In film, any manuscript which is not reassuringly based on a best-seller is viewed with mistrust. That is why there is incessant talk of ideas, novelty and surprises, of what is both totally familiar and has never existed before. Tempo and dynamism are paramount. Nothing is allowed to stay as it was, everything must be endlessly in motion. For only the universal victory of the rhythm of mechanical production and reproduction promises that nothing will change, that nothing unsuitable will emerge. To add anything to the proven cultural inventory would be too speculative. The frozen gen- res—sketch, short story, problem film, hit song— represent the average of late liberal taste threateningly imposed as a norm. The most powerful of the culture agencies, who work harmoniously with others of their kind as only managers do, whether they come from the ready-to-wear trade or* college, have long since reorganized and rationalized the objective mind. It is as if some omnipresent agency* had reviewed the material and issued an authoritative catalog tersely listing the products available. The ideal forms are inscribed in the cultural heavens where they were already num- bered by Plato—indeed, were only numbers, incapable of increase or change.«
(Theodor W. Adorno & Max Horkheimer »Dialectic of Enlightment«, beginning of chapter »The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception«)

50Shogo Makishima a character of manga & anime »Psycho-Pass«

51Probably one of the most famous storys is about »Nirvana«, signing a contract with Geffen Records, believing it to be an independent label, while in reality being a Sub Label of Warner (today Universal).

52»Three things, then, would decompose in analysis this single thing, spirit, or specter—or king, for the king occupies this place, here the place of the father, whether he keeps it, takes it, or usurps it, and beyond the return of the rhyme (for example «The Play’s the thing,/Wherein Ile catch the Conscience of the King«). King is a thing, Thing is the King, precisely where he separates from his body which, however, does not leave him (contract of secession, necessary pact in order to have more than one body, that is, in order to reign, and, first of all, to inherit royal dignity, whether by crime or election: «The body is with the King, but the King is not with the body. The King, is a thing«).

What, then, are these three things of the thing?

1. First of all, mourning. We will be speaking of nothing else. It consists always in attempting to ontologize remains, to make them present, in the first place by identifying the bodily remains and by localizing the dead (all ontologization, all semanticization— philosophical, hermeneutical, or psychoanalytical—finds itself caught up in this work of mourning but, as such, it does not yet think it; we are posing here the question of the specter, to the specter, whether it be Hamlet’s or Marx’s, on this near side of such thinking). One has to know. One has to know it. One has to have knowledge [Il faut le savoir]. Now, to know is to know who and where, to know whose body it really is and what place it occupies—for it must stay in its place. In a safe place. Hamlet does not ask merely to whom the skull belonged («Whose was it?« the question that Valéry quotes). He demands to know to whom the grave belongs («Whose grave’s this, sir?«). Nothing could be worse, for the work of mourning, than confusion or doubt: one has to know who is buried where—and it is necessary (to know—to make certain) that, in what remains of him, he remain there. Let him stay there and move no more!

2. Next, one cannot speak of generations of skulls or spirits (Kant qui genuit Hegel qui genuit Marx) except on the condition of lan- guage—and the voice, in any case of that which marks the name or takes its place («Hamlet: That Scull had a tongue in it, and could sing once«).

3. Finally (Marx qui genuit Valéry . . .), the thing works, whether it transforms or transforms itself, poses or decomposes itself: the spirit, the «spirit of the spirit« is work. But what is work? What is its concept if it supposes the spirit of the spirit? Valéry underscores it: «By ‘Spirit’ here I mean a certain power of transformation . . . the spirit . . . works.«7« (Jacques Derrida »Specters of Marx«)

53As many studies in urban sociology point out: Most people spend their time, more or less, in a triangle of work space, home & one other place for leisure.

54Achille Mbembe »Critique of Black Reason«

55Achille Mbembe »Critique of Black Reason«

56Sadie Plant »The Most Radical Gesture – The Situationist International In A Postmodern Age«

57Achille Mbembe »Critique of Black Reason«

58Cut-Up, material by William Burroughs & William Gibson

59‚Rave culture‘ again could function for some years as ‚subculture‘ before it was taken over.

»Subcultures have always been part of the culture industry simply because, firstly, they are part of social relations and, secondly, as countercultures they refer to the ‘dominant culture’, i.e. they limit their sphere of action to the cultural itself.« (Roger Behrens »Kulturindustrie«)
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60In this case ‚Pop‘ as music distributed (by major labels) via radio & music tv to a mass audience; ‚Pop‘ referring to popular.

61Hardcore Techno like Hardcore Punk, (contemporary) Breakcore like Prog Rock, IDM like Avant-Pop, etc.

62Although using contemporary technology was always a thing in music & arts, and already years before people used FX-units, synthesizers, vocoders and other technologies to modulate their sounds, with the emergence of ‚rave culture‘ and the omnipresence – or ‚democratization‘ – of those tools they became more than just tools. Tools became active agents (like delay and reverb in dub) feeding back into the system: Sequencers have shaped our understanding of rhythms as the metronome did shape unification of timesignatures in classical music.

63Techno in this case is not identical with the genre »Techno«.

64Analyzes of the role of culture products in National Socialism show high affinity to modern technology, mass media, subversive strategies (i.e. producing & selling horrible »German Jazz«), and more.

65The »identitarian movement«, the »Institut für Staatspolitik«, etc.

66»Testcard Nr. 5«
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67Brian Massumi »The Politics of Everyday Fear«

68Toyohisa Senguji a character of anime »Psycho-Pass«

69Taken from the german wikipedia: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homöostase
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70Hans-Christian Dany »Morgen werde ich Idiot – Kybernetik und Kontrollgesellschaft«, S.26/27
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71Dietmar Dath »Maschinenwinter«, S.53
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72In reference to Diedrich Diederichsen »Eigenblutdoping«

73Theodor W. Adorno & Max Horkheimer »Dialectic of Enlightment«

74»Applying Brain Machine Interfaces to Aircraft Control: Potentials and Challenges«, http://www.dglr.de/publikationen/2014/53901015.pdf

75See: Steve Goodman »Sonic Warfare – Sound, Affect and the Ecology of Fear« or much earlier different philosophers, e.g. Nietzsche, Bataille, and of course the military itself or musicians like Hanns Eisler.

76Claude E. Shannon »A Mathematical Theory of Communication«
Claude E. Shannon and Warren Weaver »The Mathematical Theory of Communication«
Noise is the ‚unsolvable‘ problem of information theory, of (statistical) empiricism. Noise can be understood analogue to the heterogenous material – in the work of Bataille or in chemistry. The heterogenous is similar to the unconscious, to the sacred and the undividable mixture.

Also see:
Noisy-Channel coding theorem
Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem (also independently discovered by: E. T. Whittaker, Vladimir Kotelnikov)

77Inigo Williams »Non-Standard Aesthetics and Irreversible Noise«

78Ray Brassier »Genre is obsolete«

79Diedrich Diederichsen »Körpertreffer – Zur Ästhetik der nachpopulären Künste«, S.136/137
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80Hans-Christian Dany »Morgen werde ich Idiot – Kybernetik und Kontrollgesellschaft«, S.67/78
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81Diedrich Diederichsen »Körpertreffer – Zur Ästhetik der nachpopulären Künste«, S.85
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82 Mark Fisher, »The Weird and the Eerie«, S.

83Ray Brassier »Genre is obsolete« – speaking of the band: ‚To Live and Shave in L.A.‘

84Ray Brassier »Genre is obsolete«

85Nick Land »The Thirst For Annihilation – Georges Bataille And Virulent Nihilism«

86Title of my track on the compilation, as well as the final message of the French Navy, when they ceased using Morse code on January 31, 1997.

87Theodor W. Adorno »Reflections on Class Theory«

88Karl Marx »The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte«

89William Gibson. »Distrust That Particular Flavor.«

90Funny enough the ‚hipster‘ character itself is some revenant coming back out of the graves. A recurring spectre.

1st wave hipster: Jazz musicians/fans

2nd wave hipster: Beatniks

3rd wave hipster: Hipster & Hip-Intellectual (especially Pop-Leftists, as recorded by Diedrich Diederichsen in »Sexbeat«)

4th wave hipster: popularized Hipster (the cliché we know today, which is already losing influence)

91»One sign of things to come was Carter‘s limited tolerance for computers. He hated clicking mice and tapping screens. Soon he was scouring auction sites for old equipment, anything with sliders he could push, knobs and dials he could twist. He spent a lot of money on a nineteen-eighties drum machine and a bass synthesizer, legendary pieces of equipment that most people only knew as software emulators. […] Until then I‘d never given much thought to the difference between the digital sounds I‘d grown up with and their analog ancestors, sounds made by variations in the electrical circuits. Electricity is not digital. It does not come in discrete packets, but floods the air and flows through conductor and shoots from the hands of mad scientists in silent movies. If it is futuristic at all, it is a past version of the future temperamental, unstable, half-alive. When you start to fool around with old synthesizers, building sounds by setting up waves in banks of oscilators, it‘s more like a chemistry experiment than the strange Adderall obsessiveness of the digital studio. Carter and I began to consider ourselves connoisseurs of analog echo effects. We were unimpressed by the packages on the internet, so i found some schematics and together we build a primitive spring reverb, which made excellent wobbles and clangings that we used to excess on every track we made. Soon we were trying to reproduce effects we‘d heard on music made at Lee Perry‘s Black Ark studio in Jamaica. That year Perry was our idol, our god. He would make use of anything that came to hand. He‘d buried microphones under a palm tree and pounded the earth to make a rhythm. We did the same thing, using a pine tree (this was the Northeast) with indifferent results. He once installed a sand floor in the studio and built our own construction and part-flooded the school‘s new music studio. We worshipped music like Perry‘s but we knew we didn‘t own it, a fact we tried to ignore as far as possible, masking our disabling caucasity with a sort of pressorial knowledge: who played congas on the B-side, the precise definition of collie. […] When Carter devided we were going to set up a recording studio, it just sprang into existence. […] The gear was magnificent, none of it new, always with a history, everything at least forty years old, tube amps and sixties fuzzboxes and a desk certified to have once been installed at Fame studio in Muscle Shoals. Vocals went through a pair of nineteen-fifties AKG C12‘s that cost fifteen thousand dollars. When the remodelling was finished, we plugged in and started looking for business. […] Carter had a very particular idea about what he wanted to do. We were billing ourselves as audio craftsmen, artisans of analog. We would even offer to record to quarter-inch tape, if that‘s what the client wanted. He knew a place that could press from it, so we could make vinyl records of new music that hadn‘t been digitized at any stage of production. Ye olde stereophonicke sounde. Step right up. […] In his personal music taste Carter was hovering around 1950, in some Houston basement with Lightnin‘ Hopkins singing through a guitar amp. That‘s how he wanted everything to sound just then. Hollow, buzzing and raw. […] WHEN DID I LOSE TOUCH WITH THE FUTURE? I remember how imminent it used to feel, how exciting. The old world was dissolving, all the grime of the past sluicing away in digital rain. The future was reflective, metallic. Soon liquid drops of mercury would reconstitute themselves into spacecraft, weapons, women and men. Now I would say the future is behind me. It is, in any case, out of my reach. It would be easy to put the blame on Carter, on his melancholy attachment to the crackle and hiss, but I bear my shar of responsibility. I let my guard down. I let myself fall. Nostalgia: from the Greek »nostos« – homecoming – and »algos« pain or ache: the pain a sick person feels because he is not in his native land, or fears never to see it again. Now I am nostalgic for the future, which was my native land.« (Hari Kunzru »White Tears«)

92Like a picture, the old vinyl reminds us of past decades, of ‚our‘ youth. And is document of time(-passing) like the bison for William Gibson. It is a vehicle through time. And an extension of our capacity as human being.

93Note that FFT as in Granular-Synthesis became important at a similar point in time.

94An interesting idea is proposed by the artist »Automatisme« for his Album »Alter-«:
»Bourriaud is understanding the term «Alter« as a way to mean «other«. The altermodernism would be another modernity that is different from the avant-garde modernism and post-modernism. More precisely, this is a new paradigm from the XXIe century with alternative ways to motivate artists to be more radical in art by traveling in the physical and digital world, by cutting the frontiers and by creating other time lines.«


95Mark Fisher »Ghosts Of My Life«

96See: Mark Fisher »Acid Communism«
»The spectre of a world which could be free« (ibid.)

97David Pirrò – Composing Interactions // http://pirro.mur.at/media/pirro_david_composing_interactions_print.pdf

98Shogo Makishima is a character of the manga & anime »Psycho-Pass«.

99‚Index‘ is used to describe phenomenons that appear in the context of recording (photography, film, audiorecording) as effects that are caused by the real, as something that always stays out of direct influenceability (by the artists).

100Diedrich Diedrichsen »Körpertreffer – Zur Ästhetik der nachpopulären Künste«, S.19.
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101LP-Titel von Throbbing Gristle.

102Diedrich Diederichsen »Körpertreffer – Zur Ästhetik der nachpopulären Künste«
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103Especially the juxtapositions undertaken by Bataille would be of interest, a technique used to destabilize colonial images of the world, exposing the eurocentric eye.

104»Authentic luxury demands complete contempt for the riches, the gloomy indifference of those who refuse to work and whose lives represent on the one hand the splendour of boundless ruin, and on the other a tacit insult to the assiduous lies of the rich.

Beyond military exploitation, religious mystification, and capitalist embezzlement, no one could find again the meaning of wealth and what it promises in terms of explosions, waste, and exuberance if it were not for the splendour of the rags and the gloomy defiance of indifference. If one wants, the exuberance of life is finally reserved for revolt by the lie«. (Georges Battailles );Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

105Theodor W. Adorno & Max Horkheimer »Dialectic of Enlightment«.

106Diedrich Diedrichsen »Körpertreffer – Zur Ästhetik der nachpopulären Künste«
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107Herbert Marcuse »Über den affirmativen Charakter der Kultur«
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108»Serial Experiments Lain« (Anime)

109Shogo Makishima is a character of manga & anime »Psycho-Pass«
»Finally, there remains a third element subject to the coercive flux of an administration of the sensible. This ‚element‘ is none other than the perceiving subject itself. As well as affecting the perceived object and the ways in which it is exhibited, strategies for the distribution of the sensible can also act upon its recipients. In this case, any means necessary will be seized upon in order to retain the subject‘s very faculty of perception under the empire of power – from the tactical use of drugs and toxins to the fanaticisation of masses, via (and this is doubtless the principal procedure) acculturation, education, and the disciplining of the ear and the gaze. Learning how to see, how to hear, knowing what to touch and when to touch it: this is what is implied by the administration of the sensible in its educative or disciplinary (depending on your point of view) dimension. It lays the groundwork for an ethics and a policing of the sensible.« (François J. Bonnet »The Infra-World«)

110Part of the intro of anime »Serial Experiments Lain« & is one of the few things that doesn‘t change throughout the series itself or differs from original to translation.

111Theodor W. Adorno & Max Horkheimer »Dialectic of Enlightment«

»In such a society, it is no longer a matter of directly seeing or hearing, but of continually producing and consuming the sensible:

In societies dominated by modern conditions of production, life is presented as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation. (Guy Debord »The Soeciety of the Spectacle)
Debord condemns a world that has dissolved itself into representation, and evokes a world that would have been directly lived, or could be.« (François J. Bonnet »The Infra-World«)

112William S. Burroughs »The Revised Boy Scout Manual«




116 CCRU, Writings 1997-2003.

117Timothy Dixon, https://randomforest.site/nothing-is-true-everything-is-produced-2/

118William S. Burroughs »The Revised Boy Scout Manual«

119Markus Metz & Georg Seeßlen »Wir Untote!«

120»Ghost in the Shell – Stand Alone Complex«, Serie
»Phenomenon where in behavior by unconnected individuals creates a seemingly concentrated effort.

This behavior is copied from a previous source without an original.
In short Stand Alone Complex is multiple copies of a behavior, object, view, ect, existing without an original.«

(zitiert nach: UrbanDictionary https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Stand%20Alone%20Complex)

121»Plagiarism in late capitalist society articulates a semi-conscious cultural condition: namely, that there ‚is nothing left to say‘. … The practioners of much post-modern theory have tended to proclaim this feeling rather smugly; but if there is nothing to say, they yet demonstrate that there will always be something to sell. On the other hand, there are practitioners active in many disciplines who, recognising the necessity for collective action demanded by media such as film and electronic tape, engage in plagiarism in an attempt to expose and explode once and for all the individualistic attitudes which tend to make all current human activity seem redundand and increasingly alienated.« (Sadie Plant)

122Mikhail Bakunin; in contrast to its origin it‘s not necessarily about violent actions, but this strategy can be applied to various fields.

123Steve Goodman »Sonic Warfare – Sound, Affect, And The Ecology Of Fear«

124See: http://www.audint.net/www/ & their book »Unsound:Undead«

125Brian Massumi »Ontopower«, p. 171/172.

126»It may be worth pointing out that the policies that currently bind the affective interest to themselves must be denounced as a plague, that the kind of legitimacy we have so far conceded was only proof of our weakness. There is no middle ground. From the moment when the political reality is a wall where all energies are breaking and nothing else, we must denounce the belief in this reality as responsible for it and prepare the weakening of this belief in the long run. / Perhaps the absurdity of this attempt will be clear to you rather than its necessity, but do not forget that the kind of criticism you make may not be thought through enough not to one day run the risk of hitting life itself: I am convinced that it is better to keep shadows for lights several times than a light for a shadow once«. (Rewritten from Bataille’s letter to Pierre Kaan; Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator)

127Brian Massumi »Ontopower«, p. 175/176

Sophinette Becker, Julia König »Sexualität die stört. Ein Gespräch von Sophinette Becker and Julia König«

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129»It may be worth pointing out that the policies that currently bind the affective interest to themselves must be denounced as a plague, that the kind of legitimacy we have so far conceded was only proof of our weakness. There is no middle ground. From the moment when the political reality is a wall where all energies are breaking and nothing else, we must denounce the belief in this reality as responsible for it and prepare the weakening of this belief in the long run. / Perhaps the absurdity of this attempt will be clear to you rather than its necessity, but do not forget that the kind of criticism you make may not be thought through enough not to one day run the risk of hitting life itself: I am convinced that it is better to keep shadows for lights several times than a light for a shadow once«. [Rewritten from Bataille’s letter to Pierre Kaan]
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

130It‘s important to note that utopia and dystopia aren‘t counterparts, although one is speaking of a good and the other of a bad future, but of similar type. Both are speculative assumptions, anticipations, of possible futurities under certain restrictions: simulations.

131Georges Bataille »The Accursed Share – An Essay on General Economy«



134It is important to realize nowadays that other emotions are as simple to trigger, i.e. by ‚the cute‘, ‚the beautiful‘ or ‚the weird‘. Fear is not essential for control, but binding people to your narration is.

135Steve Goodman »Sonic Warfare – Sound, Affect, And The Ecology Of Fear«

136Steve Goodman »Sonic Warfare«

137Karl Popper »Conjectures and Refutations«


139Dialogue of »Cube« (movie)


141Dialogue of »Cube« (movie)

142Dietmar Dath »Maschinenwinter«; Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

143Sadie Plant

Foto: Sylvia John

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