Friday, February 08, 2008

Our good friend Alex has gone and set up a blog, Negative Potential. In the current entry he assigns more depth than did I to Mattin & Unami's "Attention", perhaps with good reason. Alex has been one of the most trenchant posters on various music boards (ones that he's not kicked off of, that is) for the past several years and I look forward to reading his thoughts here, at least when he's not posting in German.


Jon said...

his musical insight is roughly on the level of my political insight, always has been. and if I'm Keith's financial patron, Keith should think about renegotiating.

Richard Pinnell said...

I kind of agree that Attention is an invitation to think, and that it does indeed raise some interesting questions once you get beyond the annoyingly patronising tone. Thing is though its not that interesting as a piece of music.

The reference to Jon as a financial patron is clearly pretty silly, and is symptomatic of the silliness that usually happens when people try and apply that degree of political analysis to music at this level. Is it really so difficult to tell Erstwhile and Sony Records apart? There are so many far more worthy targets to go after in the world than an area of music that is quite frankly pretty politically sound no matter how much you want to nit-pick. Sigh....

Where does that image come from Brian?

Robert said...

Yeah I gotta say I'm with the peanut gallery here. Alex in this blog post, as in all his comments on IHM or JC, seems to go to heroics to make whatever music he likes fit into his political ideology. I just don't see it and I don't really find the histrionics at all interesting. To each their own of course and the great thing about blogs is that they are easier to ignore :)

Brian Olewnick said...

Richard, I just poked around google image search for "negative potential" and that was the most interesting one I saw.

Alex (like Mattin) provokes and I generally think that's a good thing, agree with the provocation or not. I tend to keep art and politics separate myself though I realize it's not always appropriate, maybe not ever depending how broadly you define "politics". So even if I don't practice it, I appreciate those who make the attempt, as grating as they may often be. Plus I just like Alex personally and, if nothing else, he turned me on to Manuel de Landa, for which I'm very grateful.

negative potential said...

Wow Brian, that's some pretty skilled Googling!

Blogsport isn't exactly the most well known of domains, it's primarily intended for leftists in Germany, so nice to know it at least has some visibility.

I set up the blog after some friends nagged me about it. As you know, I'm pretty busy with family life these days, and on top of that I'm also translating a book, so not much time for forums and such.

Speaking of De Landa, he's got a new one out, "A New Philosophy of Society", which I haven't read but which I assume is a systematization of the earlier work, perhaps less empirical and more in written in terms of general "laws"? Going to have to pick it up.

Right now, though, a friend of mine is familiarizing me with a lot of De Landa's intellectual forerunners (Deleuze, Foucault). Brian, I think you really might like some of Foucault's transcribed lectures at the Coll├Ęge de France, I think no De Landa fan could resist "Society Must Be Defended".

Brian Olewnick said...

Hey Alex,

Nah, not skilled Googling--I just set up a thing within Google that notifies me anytime my name--happily unusual--puts in an appearance anywhere. Yours popped up.

I bought and read that de Landa book last year (a thin volume!). I'd have to revisit it to be sure (and to remember many of the main points), but I generally enjoyed it except that I thought his central societal ideas could have been summed up even more briefly and that much of the elaboration--while perhaps necessary from a stricter socio-philosophical standpoint, wore on me and blurred his other arguments somewhat.

negativepotential said...

right on! Hey, speaking of Manuel, have you attempted to crack open Braudel's Civilization & Capitalism trilogy?

The first volume sits on my shelf unread. I'm sure it's fascinating, but I'm intimidated by any work which makes such hay (groan, awful pun) of grain inventories and such.

Oh, BTW, I don't consider myself a "political" person at all. I am interested in society, however, since its structures envelope us and constitute us to a considerable extent (though you know I give due credence to the biological substrate!)

Anyway, check your email inbox.

Steve said...

Can Alex get kicked off his own blog? Hopefully he'll address my insatiable need for Charlotte Hug information.