Monday, March 18, 2019

talking ghosts and archive fever

I'm off on a brisk traipse across Europe -  to chat about hauntology and ArchivFieber in Barcelona and Berlin respectively. . 


BARCELONA - FRIDAY MARCH 22

Sons de la memòriaEl Born Centre de Cultura i Memòri

18.30 hrs - Conversation about hauntology with Arnau Horta

More information about Sons de la memòria events, including a live performance by Philip Jeck and Janek Schaeffer on March 23. 



BERLIN - SATURDAY MARCH 23

Find the FileHaus der Kulturen der Welt 

16:30-18:00  "Piles of Files: The Infinite Archive" - panel discussion with Elodie A. Roy,  Pelle Snickars, and Florian Sievers

More information about Find the File events



Unrelated to retro-haunty themes, if you happen to be in Lisbon you could catch me talking about music criticism


LISBON - FRIDAY MARCH 29 

MIL - Lisbon International Music Network

10.00 am to 11.30 am - Masterclass: Music Journalism

Main Hall, Palacete do Marqueses de Pombal, Rua das Janelas Verdes, 37, Lisbon

information about the class and about MIL - and a preview interview 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

empire of retro signs






Oriental Magnetic Yellow was a parody band of Yellow Magic Orchestra, formed by VGM composers. The members were:

* Shinji Hosoe as Haruomi Hosonoe (細野江晴臣), a parody of Haruomi Hosono
* Nobuyoshi Sano as Ryuichi Sanomoto (佐野本龍一), a parody of Ryuichi Sakamoto
* Takayuki Aihara as Takayukihiro Aihara (相原隆幸宏), a parody of Yukihiro Takahashi
* Hiroto Sasaki as Hideki Sasatake (佐々武秀樹), a parody of Hideki Masutake




Wednesday, March 6, 2019

the hoax of the new

"Pablo Casals said that 'the desire for innovation leads to greater aberrations in art than would acceptance of what's already there' and I think he's definitely got a point"

- Tom Verlaine, quote appearing under the sub-heading "THE HOAX OF THE NEW", in this Kristine McKenna interview from November 1981, in the New York Rocker


Odd sentiment to cosign there from Verlaine, who with Television is a supreme example of the way in which the new can manifest through the older form (gtr/bs/drms; psychedelic rock) over-writing it from within 


a paradox Barney Hoskyns captured when he hailed Television as - 


"the original post-rock rockists







that was said in a 1982 piece celebrating-defending Echo & The Bunnymen (very influenced by Television) from the charge of being a trad guitar rock group, an accusation mounted by some at the height of new pop





in the interview, Pete De Freitas makes a good point, on the subject of synth-pop, and how the superficial new can actually cloak the persistence of the old: 


"It's also that the stuff that's supposed to be experimental has just been blanding out more than anything else. It's not experimenting at all, it's just using synthesizers to play pretty ordinary songs a lot of the time."

where it started to go wrong for the Bunnymen - when they made their guitars sound like sitars, and therefore directly evoke the Sixties




whereas this


Sunday, February 17, 2019

that bolshy lady again

yet another reuse of the Rodchenko female-revolutionary-hails-the-proletariat poster






for once, though actually an appropriate bit of recycling, not just pure graphic designer lameness


the original in the remote possibility you know not whereof i speak





bonus bits of modernist graphic genius from that man Alexander





Image result for rodchenko



Image result for rodchenko



Image result for rodchenko

Monday, February 11, 2019

superstructure > base

J.G. Ballard on the Sixties:

“Here it was an aesthetic revolution that made the changes. For 5 years the class system didn’t seem to exist--nobody ever used the word…. I remember about 1970, for the first time in something like five or six years, I heard someone who was being interviewed on the radio use the word ‘working class’. Which would have been unthinkable in say, 1967 or 1968. Unthinkable. I thought, ‘my God, that’s the death knell of change. It’s coming to an end.’ And it did, and now we’re back in the same closed, confined, class-conscious little society… I don’t think the radical change needed to transform this country can come from the political direction at all. I think it can only come from the area of the arts--some sort of seismic shift in aesthetic sensibility, of a kind that we saw in the mid-60s, when this country was improved for the better. There was no question about it--liberated, briefly….” 


quote from 1983

c.f. Mark Fisher on the importance of indirect action to expand our sense of what is possible, conceivable, desirable, doable.

"the intensification and proliferation of the capitalist technologies of reality management and libidinal engineering in the 1980s was not merely some happy coincidence for neoliberalism; neoliberalism’s success was inconceivable without these technologies. It is also the reason that direct action, while of course crucial, will never be sufficient: we also need to act indirectly, by generating new narratives, figures and conceptual frames.

"... The reordering of images thoughts, affects, desires, beliefs and languages plainly cannot be achieved by “politics” alone – it is a matter for culture, in the widest sense.

... Popular culture’s incapacity to produce innovation is a persistent ambient signal that nothing can ever change." 

quote from 2015