Crisis of Proliferation: Attali brings the noise



“Nearly forty years ago, French polymath Jacques Attali wrote a book called “Noise” which predicted a “crisis of proliferation” for recorded music – in which its value would plummet. As music sales went into freefall at the turn of the century, his prediction seemed eerily resonant to up-and-coming singer/songwriter Sam York. Now struggling to earn a living as a musician, York visits Attali to help get an insight into his own future, learning that music itself may hold clues to what is about to happen in the wider world.”

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14 Responses to Crisis of Proliferation: Attali brings the noise

  1. katsypline says:

    Jacques had some interesting things to say… also interesting to hear capitalist ideologues lament the technological changes that have made it more difficult to extract value from the circulation of recordings rather than think about how these technologies subvert the binding means through which the musical commodity is produced… mourning the death of one short-lived political economy of music.

  2. katsypline says:

    i think for me the problem is that the horizon of critique in conversations surrounding the political economy of music is so narrowly limited to remuneration. its limited to the point where the fundamentals (how music is exchanged, the institution of copyright) are never even brought up for discussion. and this narrowing serves to obscure these fundamentals to the point where criticisms over how musicians are unfairly compensated for their labor don’t think through how this imbalance is built into the structure of how music is exchanged.

    i don’t think that working for musicians to be more fairly compensated in the present and a more anti-capitalist stance that works towards cultural and economic autonomy are mutually exclusive. i just get bummed when i see all of the former and none of the latter in discussions over the current crisis of music’s value.

    • dmf says:

      yes thanks i agree and hope we can do better just not sure what we do in the meantime but looking forward to seeing where folks like yourself lead us as this is all beyond my own grasp and sadly even imagination.
      one downside perhaps to living out of depressive-realism a kind of narrowing of vision/possibilities, part of why i’m a curator of more truly inventive works.

      • katsypline says:

        i think that the depressive-realist/ post-nihilist position is a necessary corrective to the sunshine optimism and progress-oriented discourses of most 20th century emancipatory projects. it certainly performs a criticism of the discourse of mastery (over nature, society, technology and so on) that was/is central to the capitolocene/anthropocene/misanthropocene. you posted something a while back by Eileen Joy i think that was about blue affects that discussed this quite eloquently. learning how to live within a time of differentially distributed mass death and extinction requires, in some ways, learning how to act and think within a depressive position. how to inhabit this blue space without cynicism (which is just the negation of the status quo, hence its affirmation) or dejected hopelessness is tricky and difficult but altogether necessary in many ways.

      • dmf says:

        i may be alone over at syn-z (and perhaps in the post-nihil camp more broadly) in my depressive-realism so not sure they directly overlap (i have no traces of salvific vitalism or mass social engineering for instance) but for me it’s not exactly cynicism or even depression/doom-casting i just need to see how something might actually work starting from where we are (with who we are, what we have at hand, etc.).
        ah yeah dear eileen is a joy (tho a bit given to her own style of movement-euphoria) but yes to the playing on blue guitars;
        “I cannot bring a world quite round,
        Although I patch it as I can.”

  3. katsypline says:

    sorry it was a bit unclear, but i was trying to differentiate between depressive-realism and cynicism/hopelessness. it seems like the path yr trying to stake out is pragmatic in its focusing on practices in the present with a clear understanding of just how difficult things are/ are going to get; whereas the cynic starts from a pragmatism that says nothing whatsoever can be done because we are already fucked, it’s utterly impossible, and so on.

    love the Wallace Stevens poem, thanks for that.

    • dmf says:

      ah no sorry the lack of clarity is (as usual) is mine and despite my failings at composition you have got it quite right thanks, i was just trying to note that even tho i don’t have faith in us being radically different in who/what we are (and or have access to some kind of saving powers) and so tend to see more limits than possibilities when venturing into the speculative (realism or otherwise) realm that my own psychology is not one of clinical depression (not sharing in the spirit of confession but trying to tune the signal from the noise). do you know:
      http://cc.au.dk/fileadmin/www.litteraturhistorie.au.dk/forskning/forskningspublikationer/arbejdspapirer/arbejdspapir13-1.pdf
      ?

      • katsypline says:

        i was not, but that was an illuminating essay on Stevens.
        ‘The 33 sections of [the Man with the Blue Guitar] the poem develop variations on the theme of the mutual inherence of imagination and reality. The balance tips in each direction through the course of the sequence, but the larger drift of the sequence is to suggest that no single description of the relation between imagination and world can be definitive.’

        and here too: ‘Stevens everywhere reminds his reader that fictions about the world cannot simply be erased or avoided. Indeed, fictions only seem avoided when one fiction has been successfully naturalized. This is when people speak with the greatest assurance about what is real, natural, or true. When any received fiction dominates, it does so by attaining the status of truth. The alternative is not a truth that rigorously eschews the mechanisms of fiction, but rather proliferating fictions that resist being taken as truths.’

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