Saturday, 16 May 2009

Toshiya Ueno

Just by way of a quick follow up on my earlier posting on Roger Griffin, palingenesis and electronic music, I've kept pushing, trying to find alternatives to the theory of collective efforvescence broached in that post, as I always try to get some sense of how multifaceted an issue is before I make up my mind of how to conceptualise it. In this interview, Toshiya Ueno criticises the reliance by other scholars on communitas, Victor Turner and so forth. I'd only come at the work of this Japanese techno critic previously through a more indirect route, as he contributes a chapter to Aliens R Us called 'Japanimation:Techno-Orientalism, Media Tribes and Rave Culture', so the comments in this interview were revelations to me.

While the provocative claims in that interview perhaps remain open to debate, I have to admit to a factual error in the palingenesis post. It wasn't actually Tangerine Dream who contributed the "stunning" track to the opening of The Keep. It was a demo by Brian Eno. If you listen to "Mea Culpa" on My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, it's possible to hear traces of The Keep. Unsurprisingly then, Tangerine Dream have never covered or performed live the track in question, and this also explains why it hasn't appeared on the official soundtrack. It has apparently surfaced though on a bootleg called Ghosts, which thus far I've not managed to track down.

Some other thoughts unexpectedly came to me reading Dennis Cooper's tribute to Whitehouse. I was less interested in Cooper's personal identification with their libertarian aesthetic, or the mentioning of Bennett's claim that Rip It Up & Start Again mistakenly reports a joke by Steve Stapleton as if it were a factual statement about the band's interest in certain extreme pornographic publications, than in how he reminded me that Paul Hegarty had not only edited a book on Dennis Cooper, but has written a couple of books about noise/music as well.

It also just so happens that I've been listening to Merzbow's 1930 a lot recently, so I'm wondering derridata if you might be able to bring these reflections full circle by answering a question? Have you encountered any commonalities, in theoretical terms and artefacts used as examples, in the respective writings of Toshiya Ueno, Hegarty on Merzbow, and the cultural studies of anime you've been undertaking? Don't worry, I'm not asking you to chase down these authors, but simply wondering if their names have cropped up during the course of your research? If you have any thoughts on the matter, please feel free to hold them till we hook up at the Brian Eno gig. I figure they might have to do with topics such as "techno subjectivity" and, by extension, "post subcultural" spaces or "scenes" in which such identities are enacted/performed/consumed. I'm wondering also whether the existence of any such commonalities could serve to undercut those in the music blogosphere who are focused on divorcing "genre" from "scene"?

One more thing relating to animation, I like how this clip critically comments on not only human motion in general, but more specifically the treatment of "older" women by consumer culture:

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