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Friday, November 26, 2010

Melancology: Black Metal Theory Symposium II



Programme

12.30-1pm
Registration

1pm
Scott Wilson, ‘Introduction to Melancology’

1.15
Nicola Masciandaro, ‘Wormsign’
Aspasia Stephanou, "Black Sun-Blank Metal Perversion".
Drew Daniel, 'Towards the Re-Occultation of Black Blood'

2.15
Amelia Ishmael, ‘Metal’s Formless Presence in Contemporary Art’
Ben Woodard, ‘Irreversible Sludge: Troubled Energetics, Eco-purification and Self-Inhumanization’
Reza Negarestani, ‘_________’

Brief Drinking Break

3.30
Steven Shakespeare, ‘A Machine for Breaking Gods: Unity, Nature and Ritual in US Black Metal’
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’

4.30
Elliot A. Jarbe, ‘Beyond Melancology: Hüzüncology and the Thymotic’
Hager Weslati, ‘Going to Hell in Northern Deserts’
Evan Calder Williams, ‘The hot wet breath of extinction’

5.30
Eugene Thacker, ‘Sound of the Abyss’

6.15
The Black Buffet and longer drinking break

8pm
Niall Scott, ‘Blackening the Green: concluding remarks and Introduction to Abgott’

8.15 Abgott (Live performance)

Throughout the day:
Mark Patrick Oughton, ‘’Visions of Kali: Attack Sustain Release’ (Video installation)


MELANCOLOGY

‘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.

1 comment:

  1. lughviii@gmail.comOctober 25, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    Your writing truly is immaculate sir, and while i appreciate the message you are trying to speak about, it shows a lack of knowledge in Black Metal. The funny thing about Black Metal is that it is such an empty word. Some of it is about Nihilism, Some of it is about the beauty of the woods. Others write about ancient Gods and rituals. This is in truth the foundation of Black Metal, a revolt against the church as an institution and the mistakes made in the last two thousand years.

    It was only after that Varg and his friends were taking shots at McDonald signs (sounds fairly punk to me!), and attacked the churches (this part is important) on specific sites, that mindless children started copying and painting references to the dark archetype. These young people, emulating other young people, did not recognize that they were misconstruing the message.

    It is this, the urge to once again recognize our Gods, to reconnect with our ancestry, that is the spark which created Black Metal. Sure, a lot of bands are extremely anti all things, or so they say. Lets not forget that the creator of Arckanum, an anti-cosmic
    Black Metal band, is really a family man.

    Ihsahn himself spoke of the ability to rise from darkness, that my friend is the true Luciferian/Nietzschean method, and message. Yes, the darkness exists, but only those who lack the strength shall be conquered by it.

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