Tuesday, 24 February 2004

From "To Iceland: On Improvisation During The Fall"

By Robin Purves.

The third claim in many treatises on improv that I want to distance myself from is the notion that it is politically significant. The idea comes in a variety of modes including the tentative and vague suggestion that improvised music has a content which do not correspond to or revel in the prerogatives of the present day philosophical/political hegemony. This claim, that a radically ambiguous, sometimes utterly disarticulated and ad hoc ‘language’ is oppositional in a progressive and meaningful way requires more proof if it is to be convincing. To say that it doesn’t reflect or celebrate dominant ideologies suggests only that improv, in its own opinion, stands serenely apart from them. Ben Watson’s admirable avoidance of the tentative and vague sweeps him along to a more unhinged set of slogans, that “Free Improvisation [...] is the manifestation of socialist revolution in music,” or that it is “no more recuperable by class society than revolutionary Marxism.”

Monday, 23 February 2004

From "Negative Dialectics"

By Theodor Adorno.

One of the mystical impulses secularized in dialectics was the doctrine that the intradmundane and historic is relevant to what traditional metaphysics distinguished as transcendence -- or at least, less gnostically and radically put, that it is relevant to the position taken by human consciousness on the questions which the canon of philosophy assigned to metaphysics.

Saturday, 21 February 2004

From "Negative Dialectics"

By Theodor Adorno.

Even the steps which society takes to exterminate itself are at the same time absurd acts of unleashed self-preservation. They are forms of unconscious social action against suffering even though an obtuse view of society's own interest turns their total particularity against that interest. Confronted with such steps, their purpose -- and this alone makes society a society -- calls for it to be so organized as the productive forces would directly permit it here and now, and as the conditions of production on either side relentlessly prevent it.

Saturday, 14 February 2004

From "Ethics and Dialogue"

By Allbrecht Wellmer.

The obligations of rationality concern themselves with the recognition of arguments, the obligations of morality with the recognition of persons. It is a requirement of rationality that I acknowledge the argument of an anemey, when it is good; it is a moral requirement to let those people speak who don't yet have good arguments. In summary: the obligations of rationality are concerned with arguments, without regard to persons, and moral obligations are concerned with persons without regard to their arguments [...] only from an imaginary "ultimate point of view" of an ideal community of communication can it appear as though both ultimately coincide.