Sunday, 28 November 2010
‘Earthly thought embraces perishability (i.e. cosmic contingency) as its immanent core …. such perishability … grasps the openness of Earth towards the cosmic exteriority not in terms of concomitantly vitalistic / necrocratic correlations (as the Earth’s relationship with the Sun) but alternative ways of dying and loosening into the cosmic abyss … The only true terrestrial ecology is the one founded on the unilateral nature of cosmic contingency against which there is no chance of resistance – there are only opportunities for drawing schemes of complicity ... Hence, the Cartesian dilemma, “What course in life shall I follow?” should be bastardized as “Which way out shall I take?”’ -- Reza Negarestani, ‘Solar Infernal and the earthbound Abyss’
Black metal irrupts from a place already divested of nature, a site of extinction, ‘a place empty of life / Only dead trees …’ (Mayhem, ‘Funeral Fog’, 1992); ‘Our skies are forever black / Here is no signs of life at all’ (Deathspell Omega, ‘From Unknown Lands of Desolation’, 2005). As such black metal could be described as a negative form of environmental writing; the least Apollonian of genres, it is terrestrial – indeed subterranean and infernal – inhabiting a dead forest that is at once both mythic and real unfolding along an atheological horizon that marks the limit of absolute evil where there are no goods or resources to distribute and therefore no means of power and domination, a mastery of nothing.
A new word is required that conjoins ‘black’ and ‘ecology’: melancology, a word in which can be heard the melancholy affect appropriate to the conjunction. A new word implies a new concept and we know from Deleuze and Guattari that concepts have to fulfil three criteria. Accordingly, the plane of immanence of melancology is extinction and non-being. All things are destined for extinction; immanent to all being is the irreducible fact of its total negation without reserve or remainder. The development of the characteristics of melancology is to be addressed at the Symposium, of course, but there are already a number of apophasic determinations: it is not ecology, it is anorganic; it is not political economy, it is anti-instrumental; it is not love of nature, environmentalism, Gaia, geophilosophy … But it implies an ethos and a style that delineates the third aspect of the concept, its embodiment in a conceptual personae: the black metal kvltist whose ethos runs across the spectrum of melancholy from bile and rage to sorrow, depression and the delectation of evil all the better to affirm the desolation s/he contemplates in the sonorous audibility of black metal’s sovereign dissonance.
This environment of absolute evil is exactly the same as the absolute good of black metal itself: the expenditure of a sonic drive that propels a blackened self-consciousness, a melancological consciousness without object that is the necessary prior condition to any speculation on or intervention in the environment.
The Black Metal Theory Symposium thus invites speculation and interventions on the blackening of the earth, landscapes of extinction, starless aeon, sempiternal nightmares, black horizons, malign essences, Qliphothic forces from beyond … in a general re-conceptualization of black ecology.
Details and registration HERE.
Scott Wilson, ‘Introduction to Melancology’.
Amelia Ishmael, ‘Metal’s Formless Presence in Contemporary Art’.
Elliot A. Jarbe, ‘Beyond Melancology: Hüzüncology and the Thymotic ’.
Drew Daniel, ‘Towards the Re-Occultation of Black Blood’.
Liviu Mantescu, ‘Suddenly, life lost new meaning: Melancology as another new age
metaphor for transcendental encounters’.
Dominik Irtenkauf, ‘To The Mountains or: rocking against melancholy. The implications of black metal's geophilosophy’.
Steven Shakespeare, ‘A Machine for Breaking Gods: Unity, Nature and Ritual in US Black Metal’.
Nicola Masciandaro, ‘Wormsign’.
Aspasia Stephanou, ‘Black Sun-Blank Metal Perversion’.
Eugene Thacker, 'Sound of the Abyss'
Ben Woodard, ‘Irreversible Sludge: Troubled Energetics, Eco-purification and Self-Inhumanization’.
Hager Weslati, ‘Going to Hell in Northern Deserts’.
Evan Calder Williams, ‘The hot wet breath of extinction’.
Reza Negarestani, ‘ ‘.
Mark Patrick Oughton, ‘Visions of Kali: Attack Sustain Release’ (Video installation)
Niall Scott, ‘Blackening the Green'.
Concluding remarks and Introduction to Abgott
Abgott (Live performance)
Thursday, 18 November 2010
"This stunning collection of twelve essays and an interview with Michel Chion can be likened to as many shock waves cutting through David Lynch's cinema and photography. Each and every one informed by critical methods up to speed with the work, the essays become, in the strong sense of the term, events. Some touch on electric attraction and breakage, others on the ghost-like nature of the cinema, others on creative abjection and fetishism. Written by experts, filmmakers and artists, all discern, as Chion notes in the final pages, the strong degree to which Lynch is a commanding auteur of our time. Francois- Xavier Gleyzon is to be congratulated for having engineered an explosive work that opens Lynch and film theory onto unforeseen lines of inquiry."--Tom Conley, Harvard University
"Francois-Xavier Gleyzon has brought together a brilliant set of critical essays on the iconic hero of lost forms, David Lynch. Probing, fearless and scrupulous, the volume stays close to the pained exactitude of an unrelenting oeuvre, strongly supporting its troubled and abjected areas, the glacial vocabularies and spectral prods that have made Lynch unbypassable, necessary and enduring."--Avital Ronell, New York University
"David Lynch in Theory takes us deeper into the heart of Lynch's art than the artist himself ever could, because it registers not only the seismic shudders and wild eclecticism of his studio practices, but traces the effects of his work on the sensoria of a brilliantly selected array of critical perspectives. This marvelous collection will be required reading for any further study of Lynch's art."--W. J. T. Mitchell, University of Chicago
"Francois-Xavier Gleyzon's new collection of essays on David Lynch makes a compelling case for the urgency of Lynch's work, today more than ever. These lucid interrogations of Lynch's unfolding oeuvre, including essays by some of the very best psychoanalytic and philosophical film critics, stitch together the pieces of a fantasy in which Eraserhead feels as contemporary as Inland Empire. Essential reading for scholars and students working in film and theory, and those of us whose waking dreams are haunted by snatches of sound and light from Lynch's singular art."--Kenneth Reinhard, UCLA
INTRODUCTION: DAVID LYNCH’S SEISMOGRAPH 1
THE MATERIALITY OF FANTASY: THE ENCOUNTER
WITH SOMETHING IN INLAND EMPIRE 8
RED VELVET: LYNCH’S CINEMAT(OGRAPH)IC ONTOLOGY 24
ERASERHEAD: COMPREHENSION, COMPLEXITY,
& THE MIDNIGHT MOVIE 40
DOMINIQUE DE COURCELLES
“WAKING DREAMS ARE THE ONES THAT ARE IMPORTANT”
NOT BELONGING TO EITHER, SOUND & IMAGE, & TIME 58
RABBIT EARS: LOCOMOTION IN LYNCH’S INLAND EMPIRE 86
JASON T. CLEMENCE
“BABY WANTS BLUE VELVET”: LYNCH & MATERNAL NEGATION 101
JOSHUA D. GONSALVES
“I’M A WHORE”: “ON THE OTHER SIDE” OF INLAND EMPIRE 117
REBECCA ANNE BARR
THE GOTHIC IN DAVID LYNCH: PHANTASMAGORIA & ABJECTION 132
THE MEDIUM IS THE FETISH 147
ERIC G. WILSON
SICKNESS UNTO DEATH: DAVID LYNCH & SACRED IRONY 157
LYNCH, BACON & THE FORMLESS 166
GARY BETTINSON & FRANCOIS-XAVIER GLEYZON
DAVID LYNCH & THE CINEMA D’AUTEUR: A CONVERSATION
WITH MICHEL CHION 182
NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS