Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Queer Silence/Noise

Next AU reading includes Jonathan Katz's essay on John Cage's Queer Silence or How to Avoid Making Matters Worse - which raises questions about modes of resistance, and intersects with Robin James thinking about how we might resist being co-opted by the regime of neoliberalism.  

Robin James"The point is to make signals that, when co-opted, skew the balance and bend the circuit- sort of like retroviruses and malware. Critical delinquency generates noise that isn't noisy in the "right" ways (and thus might not even register as noise), queer noise that, when it gets co-opted, distorts the processes it is supposed to support."  

Cage via Katz: 
"Protest movements could quite easily, and despite themselves, lead in the opposite direction, to a reinforcement of law and order.... protest is all too often absorbed into the flow of power, because it limits itself to reaching for the same old mechanisms of power, which is the worst way to challenge authority!"  

"The goal is thus not to challenge power, but to escape it.... what makes noise a noise is precisely its freedom from an preordained conceptual or ideological system. Thus music permeates culture, and our culture permeates music; change one and you change the other."  

Katz's essay on Cage also suggests a tangent on Buddhism, which seems to lead toward Zizek's (somewhat controversial) critique of Buddhism. 

eg, Tim Morton"I am nauseated by [Zizek's] repetition of asinine Hegelianisms about buddhism.  [But] I generally admire and respect what Zizek has to say about anything. [And] I actually agree, from a certain point of view, with what he says about buddhism: for example, as an indictment of western New Age interpretations that are also intrinsic to certain eastern forms of buddhism.  I nevertheless completely disagree with the substance of his arguments which are based on a common Hegelian misunderstanding of the soteriological aims of  buddhism."

All of this is perhaps unrelated to Jody Rosen's spectacular essay on Eva Tanguay, the first rock star. Thinking of Attali's Noise, Tanguay is perhaps an example of music as a herald of social change. 

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