ISSN 1751-8229 Volume Five, Number Two

Graduate Special Issue – Žižek & Badiou

Philosophico-Music l Visio!" # $iou, %i&e', !$ Music James Little - University of Illinois UrbanaChampaign
Žižek and Badiou deploy widely divergent e amples for their philosophi!al and politi!al pro"e!ts# Žižek is famed for his idiosyn!rati! analyses of film and Badiou for his work on Be!kett and $allarme# %et whilst their engagement in these fields is well known the role of musi! in their work is often strangely overlooked# In Žižek&s re!ent book' Living in the End Times,()*+*b, he sket!hes a utopian !ommunity of art' musi!' and misfits that opens up new ways of approa!hing performan!e and !omposition# In Badiou&s Logics of Worlds' ()**-, the !learest arti!ulations of Badiou&s !on!eption of the sub"e!t' world' event' and truth are found in his analysis of musi!# .hen they approa!h musi!' they employ analyses of both its linguisti! dimension / lyri!s or libretti / and its sound# Both Žižek and Badiou have approa!hed the notes-themselves# In the same way that Žižek and Badiou are often in dialogue with ea!h other about their philosophi!al and politi!al positions' they are also in a dialogue about musi!' the role of the artist' and their readings of spe!ifi! pie!es of musi!# Žižek&s and Badiou&s approa!h to musi! !annot be des!ribed as aestheti!# Žižek re"e!ts both histori!ism and aestheti!ism as proper approa!hes to musi!al art0 1

3he goal of Žižek&s psy!hoanalyti!al reading is not to lo!ate or define the beautiful in musi! or redeem !ertain musi!al figures in their histori!al !onte t# 4ather' the purpose of these readings is often to lo!ate something terrible / the 5egelian 67ight of the . / that lies in a work# Badiou&s approa!h to art lo!ates the possibility and the site of the new in an artisti! world' where the affe!t of art is the 6 pleasure of a new per!eptual intensity8# (Badiou )**-0 :..histori!ist redu!tionism and abstra!t aestheti!ism are two sides of the same !oin0 a work is eternal not against its histori!al !onte t' but through the way it answers the !hallenge of its histori!al moment# 1ne needs to abstract from histori!al trivia' to decontextualize the work' to tear it out of the !onte t in whi!h it was originally embedded# (Žižek )*+*a0 Tomorrow In Living in the End Times' Žižek des!ribes numerous e amples of a 6properly !ommunisti! !ulture8# In a typi!ally diale!ti!al Žižekian move' the musi!al e amples shift from the >uiet proto-ambient musi! of ?ri! @atie' to the Neue Deutsche !rte of the Aerman ro!k musi!ians 4ammstein# 3hese widely divergent genres of musi! represent Žižek&s utopian !ommunist !ulture# Bor Žižek' the proper role of the musi!al artist is to organi=e an egalitarian spa!e# 5e e pli!ates this position through a reading of Cafka&s "osephine the #inger. +ul.:. <gainst a personal value pla!ed on art they both seek to find universals' whilst at the same time not dismissing the parti!ular or individual# In this essay' I will e plore the Badiouian and Žižekian views on the musi!al artist as sub"e!t and their en!ounters with . or the $ouse %ol&0 @he does not bring to her publi! / the people / any deep spiritual !ontent9 what she produ!es is the differen!e between the people&s 6utter silen!e8 and their silen!e 6as su!h8' marked as silen!e by way of its opposition to her# (Žižek )*+*b0 2..ure" . S .agnerian 6deadly immersion into the unremitting jouissance of the night8 (Žižek )**)0 )+-.agner# I will also offer some !hallenges to their views and provide an appli!ation of their theories to "a==' an area left largely une amined by both of them# 1( The Sou!$ o) %i&e'*s +ommu!is.orld89 or the . 3he !ommunity brought together by her singing is one without a $aster# It is a purely egalitarian spa!e# .mms.ei! To$ .hilst here the musi!al artist provides a point-de-capiton for the !ommunity' the artist does not o!!upy a separate so!ial status from anyone else in the !ommunity# 3he mouse folk assemble for her singing' but she is not the main attra!tion# 2 .

@e!ond' puritani!al leftists see musi!al en"oyment as 6a sour!e of !orruption and de!aden!e' an instrument used by those in power to maintain their hold over us' so that the first a!t of liberation is to break its spell#8 (Žižek )*+*b0 2:2.# 3here is no automaton like uniformity / no one is fastened to his or her neighbor' they e ist fully with all their e!!entri!ities# 5owever' these e!!entri!ities no longer divide them into separate groups# Žižek&s understanding of the role of musi!al performan!e in his utopian !ulture is not ba!!hanalian' nor is it as!eti!# 3he Žižekian audien!e' formed through performan!e' operates in a 5egelian register of the Universal' Individual' and Earti!ular0 6ritualisti! immersion into parti!ular substan!e' individual idiosyn!rasy8 (Žižek )*+*b0 2:F.hilst 4ammstein are normally asso!aited with totalitarian imagery / elements of the <meri!an media even asso!iating them with the Columbine s!hool shootings i / Žižek !laims that they effi!tivley bypass ideology through an overidentifi!ation with the sinthome# In )**.' 4ammstein released the song 6$ann Aegen $ann8 ii with an a!!ompanying musi! video' 3 . . 3he last position' one that Žižek !redits Badiou with' !laims that jouissance is a 6nameless Ginfinite&' a neutral substan!e whi!h !an be instrumentali=ed in a number of ways8# (Žižek )*+*b0 2:2.# 3he universal' whi!h in this instan!e represents the e>uality of the group' is kept in !he!k through the parti!ular substan!e of the !rowd and their individual idiosyn!rasies# 3his is not a !all for the return of events like .oodsto!k / whi!h are ins!ribed with the super-ego&s !ommand to en"oy / or an attempt to rid so!iety of musi!al performan!e and the !olle!tive spa!e that it provides# Žižek des!ribes three leftist positions towards musi!al !ulture operating today# Birst' more libertarian leftists 6see en"oyment as an eman!ipatory power0 every oppressive power has to rely on libidinal repression' and the first a!t of liberation is to set the libido free#8 (Žižek )*+*b0 2:2.@he provides only the !onte t for their gathering together# 3he vision of the musi!al artist as a genius' a hero' or a !elebrity is not !ompatible with this !on!eption# In this sense' Žižek does away with the godlike world-artist as well as the 7iet=s!hean notion of Dionysian art where one 6feels himself not only united' re!on!iled' and fused with his neighbor' but as one with him8 (7iet=s!he )***0 2:. <fter introdu!ing Josephine' Žižek delves fully into pop !ulture through the Aerman ro!k musi!ians 4ammstein# Despite the very different styles' Žižek argues that' like Josephine' 4ammstein illustrate a !on!eption of the artist as an organi=er of a shared egalitarian spa!e# Žižek writes' 64ammstein undermine totalitarian ideology not with an ironi! distan!e towards the rituals that they immitate' but by dire!tly !onfronting us with its obs!ene materiality and thereby suspending its effi!ay#8 (Žižek )*+*b0 2H:.

M. 5owever' whereas the goal of that !ommoditi=ed form of musi! is to !over up the ba!kground noises that arise in those spa!es / thus easing the an iety of shoppers or those who are waiting for servi!e / @atie&s musi! aims to foreground those very same noises so that they be!ome audible and part of the musi!# @atie in a sense shifts the ba!kground to the !entre' whilst the musi! is employed merely to fill in the spa!es in between# Listening to @atie' a new sense of time !onfronts us# Instead of building to a !lima ' the musi! is sub"e!t to re!onfiguration and differential ordering# 3he listener must !hoose how mu!h or little time they are willing to dedi!ate to a pie!e of musi! rather than relying on a pre-!onfigured length# 1ne of the first arti!les to appear in the press !on!erning @atie&s 6furniture musi!8 4 .dire!ted by Jonas Ikerlund' whi!h featured e pli!itly homoeroti! images# 3he song&s themati!' lyri!siii' and its video&s aestheti!' aimed to dire!tly !onfront homophobi! attitudes in an e pli!it' perhaps even overstated' way# In this way' 4ammstein for!e their listeners to !onfront their own potential homophobi! pre"udi!es as well as undermine the ideology / one that they are often mistakenly asso!iated with / that drives neo-7a=i groups throughout ?urope# . Žižek argues that the former also serves to illustrate his notion of utopian !ommunism# Jri! @atie&s musi! pla!es the role of the artist as an e>ual with the audien!e to su!h an e tent that during the performan!e of one his pie!es he !ommanded the audien!e to 6walk around' eat and drink' 3alk' for heaven&s sakeK $ove aroundK Don&t listenK8 (Davis' )**:0 +)H.e !an !ontrast 4ammstein to the true neo-7a=i musi! of the 4o!k <gainst Communism organi=ation of the late +-:*s#iv ?mbodying British 7ationalism' anti@emitism' and homophobia' 4o!k <gainst Communism stood for right-wing ideology in its purest form# In opposition 4ammstein are effe!tively a Gneutral substan!e&' who despite their sound and appearan!e have the potential to neutrali=e totalitarian signifiers# ?ven though Jri! @atie o!!upies an entirely different realm of sound to 4ammstein (one !an hardly imagine a more distin!t musi!al !ontrast. Žižek notes that @atie&s musi! is a kind of prede!essor to the !ommer!iali=ed musi! that pervades waiting rooms and shopping malls# <s @artre des!ribes it0 Lthey have a spe!ial musi!' heard also at marriages and Birst Communions' !alled0 $usi! by $u=ak# In apartments there is a fau!et# It is turned on and $u=ak musi!s0 flirtation' tears' dan!ing# 3he fau!et is turned off' and $u=ak musi!s no more0 the lovers and !ommuni!ants are put to bed# (@artre +--F0 .

$usical 'ariant of the $etaph/sics of #ubject. Badiou sket!hes in thirteen points a very !lear pi!ture of his !on!eption of an artisti! sub"e!t# 3he se!tion is a broad reading of )* th !entury !lassi!al musi!# Badiou&s !onstant referent when dis!ussing musi! or the artisti! sub"e!t is <rnold @!hoenberg and the @!hoenberg-event# It is the event whereby the twelve tones of the !hromati! s!ale no longer relate to ea!h other through the laws of harmony' but are treated e>ually# . Does @atie&s musi! signify only posh modern homes and individualismO Žižek !laims that @atie&s works !onstitutes a !olle!tive intima!y0 egalitarian !ommunism in musi!0 a musi! whi!h shifts the listener&s attention from the great 3heme to its inaudible ba!kground' in the same way that !ommunist theory and politi!s refo!us our attention away from heroi! individuals to the immense work and suffering of the invisible ordinary people (Žižek )*+*b0' in the se!tion' #cholium.hilst atonal musi! is often des!ribed as !old and intelle!tual' it in fa!t posits the 5 ..was in the first issue of the Bren!h 'ogue# In an arti!le about home dN!or' perhaps to !lear up !onfusion on whether or not furniture musi! was some kind of de!orating trend' the writer !laimed that it was 6up to you to find a way to hear this musi(ue d)ameublement and to devise an opinion on the topi!# But that has nothing to do with the furniture we&re so taken up with this season#8 (Davis )**:0 +)H.. 2( # $iou*s /r. it was also the ba!kground noise of the audien!e / the !reaking theater hall' the endless !oughing' and the !hange rattling in patron&s po!kets / whi!h was the real musi!# 7o longer only filling up the dramati! silen!es between notes' the ba!kground noise be!omes autonomous# 3here is also a !onne!tion between @atie and Cage&s !ompositions in terms of time# 3hey both / albeit in differing ways / sidestep the world of !lassi!al harmony by foregrounding time&s prima!y and importan!e# Cage viewed the forgetting of the >uestion of time in musi!al !omposition as serving to 6pra!ti!ally shipwre!k the art on an island of de!aden!e#8 (Erit!hett +--20 2-.ic Sub0ec. If one listens intently to @atie in an attempt to make up their own mind about his musi!' they miss its true purpose# Bor John Cage' the !omposer of the infamous !omposition without notes' *)++. o) Music 5ow then do we fit Jospehine' @atie' and 4ammstein within Badiou&s !on!eption of the artisti! sub"e!tO ?arly in Logics of Worlds ()**-.

It is Badiou&s figures of the sub"e!t / faithful' rea!tive' and obs!ure / that are !reated by the @!hoenberg-event and even perhaps hinted at by @!hoenberg himself0 6 . If the affe!t of art is pleasure' what of those who are unable to find any pleasure in atonal musi!' even if they appre!iate its intelle!tual thrustO Badiou&s response to this is simply that they 6posses a knowledge of what they love but they remain ignorant of its truth# It&s a matter of usage and !ontinuation# It is ne!essary to add one&s own listening' patiently' to the body of the new musi!# Eleasure will !ome' as an additional bonus8 (Badiou )**-0 HM.the twelve tone-method is only a tra!e of the event' it is not the event in-itself# (Badiou )**-0 H*. 3he sub"e!t proper is the 6history of a new form' as it is in!orporated in works#8 (Badiou )**. Badiou lo!ates the possibility of a new world in musi!' but as he makes !lear' the event is not a spe!ifi! type of !omposition . Badiou&s des!ription of the @!hoenbergevent does not simply repeat a 5egelian take on the development of serial musi!# 3he @!hoenberg event breaks the e isting musi! world of tonality into two# 3he atonal sub"e!t is a !reative relation between the @!hoenberg-event and the world of tonality# @omething new appears' but the previous world of !lassi!al harmony is not entirely !ast off0 Classi!al musi!' however' does not stop# 3he event therefore' happens not in this world (symboli! order.0 H+. as it !urrently e ists' rather it happens for this world' as a pro!ess with and through it' enri!hing it by pun!hing a hole in !urrent knowledge' presenting us with a truth9 while a sub"e!t' for Badiou' is pre!isely the relationship between su!h an event and the world that the event affirmatively negates as an entirely new !ommitment emerges# (Jagod=inski )*+*0 ) e>uality of all the notes in the s!ale / it is egalitarian sound# Is the appearan!e of atonal musi!' in <dorno&s words' 6the produ!t of histori!al development' until in 5egel&s famous simile' it !ast off the seed leaf beneath whi!h it had ripened and stood reveled as something >ualitatively new8O (<dorno +---0 MM. 3he body of Badiou&s musi!al sub"e!t is the musi!al works themselves / su!h as @!hoenberg&s first twelve-tone !ompositions# 3here is perhaps some !ongruen!e here with @artre&s statements about genius0 63here is no genius other than that whi!h is e pressed in works of art9 the genius of Eroust resides in the totality of his works9 the genius of 4a!ine is found in the series of his tragedies' outside of whi!h there is nothing#8 (@artre )**:0 2:.

agnerO 3he basis of Žižek&s reading of . 3he figures that @!hoenberg elu!idates are what Badiou des!ribes as the rea!tive sub"e!t and the obs!ure sub"e!t# 3he rea!tive sub"e!t is the !omposer who simply wants to dismiss the twelve-tone method and return to the previous world of harmony as though the event has not o!!urred# 3he obs!ure sub"e!t is the rea!tion of the 7a=i&s who sought to destroy the world of atonal musi!' des!ribing @!hoenberg&s work as Gdegenerate art&# @!hoenberg also brings to light a disaster in Badiou&s terminology / the absoluti=ation of one truth over all others# 3he !omposer must not assert that the truth of their world is the one artisti! 3ruth that dominates# 3he atonal world of musi! is not the only world of musi! and slavish devotion to it' the kind of devotion that pla!es one te!hni>ue over !omposition itself' is a musi!al disaster# Badiou does not think that one !an rely on the sub"e!t of the @!hoenberg-event today# 3he previous world of tonality and the world of atonality are 6s!attered into unorgani=ed bodies and vain !eremonies8 (Badiou )**-0 H-.agner&s works persist# 3hey are performed around the world / even on Israeli television and radio where there remains a ban on his works#v .# @imilarly one !annot rely on the postmodern e!le!ti!ism of today&s musi!al world# 3he vast divergen!e of styles that one would find on the average iEod / what Badiou !alls the 6plurality of Gmusi!s& / folklore' !lassi!ism' pop' e oti!ism' "a==' and baro>ue rea!tion in the same festive bag#8 (Badiou )**-0 H-. .agner has remains a !onstant figure of referen!e for Žižek&s work# 3he myth of the wound only healed by the sword that smote it' and <mfortas& undead state serve as a metaphor for elements within Žižek&s reading of both La!anian psy!hoanalysis and the 5egelian diale!ti!#vi 7 .he 3per " %i&e'.agner is the !onvi!tion that the latter&s writing undermines its own e pli!it ideologi!al pro"e!t# .$ay I add that I believe' when the movement of the rea!tionaries has died away' that musi! will return to !omposing with +) tones# 3here will probably be various attempts at promoting !oheren!e through this method' but I hope su!!essors will not forget that it is not only +) tone' but that the a!!ent is on G!omposing& (@!hoenberg +-H:0 ). / are intimately tied to the logi!s of today&s digital !apitalism# 1( / Ni2h.agner&s rea!tionary outlook8 (<dorno )**M0 +:.agner is irredeemable as person# 5is nefarious anti@emitism / 6the sinister realm of . !$ 4 2!er 3here !an be no doubt that .:. .hy save . # $iou. / will remain an asterisk ever present on his art and writings# %et despite this' .

agner&s works in the musi! / 6dramati! possibilities are !reated by the musi!8 (Badiou )*+*0 H-. Žižek&s rumbling style' with its sudden breaks and diversions' is held together with leitmotif# Is this a negative feature of his philosophyO 1n the >uestion of Gendless melody& 8 .Žižek&s psy!hoanalyti! readings of . / whilst Žižek dis!overs meaning via' what Badiou !alls' a La!anian hermeneuti!al reading of libretti and stagings# 1ne !annot approa!h .agner&s !ompositions do not seek a 5egelian totality' but a!tually point towards transformation without finality# (Badiou )*+*0 +2+. <dorno !laims that the use of leitmotif points to the future !ommodifi!ation of musi!# In opposition' Badiou finds that leitmotif and the 6endless melody8 of .agner is !onfronted with intri!ate plot details' alternative s!enarios' and referen!es to spe!ifi! produ!tions or hypotheti!al future produ!tions# If this is a transgression' Žižek&s strategy is to sin boldly# 3he >uestion of .agner begins with a !onsideration of whi!h dimension of his works should be !onsidered# $usi!' libretti' and staging are all important !omponents of opera# .agner without also dealing with the >uestion of leitmotif# In 0n #earch of Wagner' ()**M.agner&s operas seek to go beyond the typi!al histori!ist and aestheti! interpretation of his works# ?ven more than with his analyses of film' the reader approa!hing Žižek&s writing on . 5ere Badiou and Žižek are in disagreement# Badiou lo!ates the true !ontent behind .hat will be the basis of !riti>ueO In his re!ent writings' vii Žižek !laims that0 1ne should turn around the standard notion of the prima!y of musi! in opera' the idea that words (libretto.hat will be analy=edO .hen Žižek evokes the La!anian 4eal' is this not a leitmotiv announ!ing the entran!e of !ertain figureO <drian Johnston des!ribes the 4eal as a motif in Žižek&s philosophy0 the prominen!e' in Žižek&s rhetori!' of a morbid fas!ination with the mortal 4eal-made-flesh is indi!ative of something more than "ust a personal' idiosyn!rati! fi ation# Instead' this motif is dire!tly revelatory at the impersonal' philosophi!al level# (Johnston )**H0 )F. Žižek a!!epts <dorno&s !riti!ism of leitmotif' but posits that <dorno&s own philosophy !onsists of leitmotif like phrases and thus that this !riti!ism is fundamentally a self-!riti!ism# In response to this' !an we not !laim that Žižek&s style also relies on leitmotifO . and stage a!tion are "ust a prete t for the true fo!us' the musi! itself' so that the truth is on the side of musi!' and it is the musi! whi!h delivers the true emotional stan!e L It is absolutely !ru!ial to bear in mind what goes on on stage' to listen to words also# (Žižek )*+*a0 ++.

Bor $ohr' it is @yberberg&s version that plays the role of a heterose ist foil seeking to rid the play of its homose ual !ontent# 5owever' the power of @yberberg&s film shows the potential that alternate stagings of .' is nevertheless a step in the dire!tion of totality-free greatness (Badiou )*+*0 +22.agner still represents a musi! for the future L I would say that .orld8 and Žižek&s own repeated use of the phrase from 1arsifal' 6die Wunde schliesst der #peer nur.agner&s works0 6what if Tristan and 1arsifal simply and effe!tively are the (from a !ertain standpoint at least.agner&s lesson about first repla!ing the operati! set numbers with Gendless melody& and then weaving it all together with leitmotifs is often summed up. der sie schlug8' !ertainly point towards an attempt at 6totality-free greatness8 in Žižek&s philosophy# In 2pera)s #econd Death' Žižek makes an e !eedingly bold !laim about .hether this move is su!!essful or not is still un!ertain' but the Žižekian 5egel who&s <bsolute Cnowledge is totality-free' and who&s leitmotifs in!lude the infamous 67ight of the .and leitmotif Badiou replies that0 .agner&s own !on!eptions for the dramati! presentation of his work# Bor Žižek' Badiou' and $ohr the >uestions raised by 1arsifal are theologi!ophilosopi!al in nature# 7iet=s!he' in his ultimate re"e!tion of .agner&s !onne!ting of leitmotif and totality' of leitmotif and Gendless melody& (sin!e / the des!ription is not !ompletely erroneous / this is how .agner believed that 1arsifal was a re!apitulation on . the two single greatest works of art in the history of humankindO8 In terms of Žižek&s reading of Earsifal we should here note that it is heavily influen!ed by 5ans-JPrgen @yberberg&s filmed version often remembered for its transformation of Earsifal into a young woman at the end of the se!ond a!t# Žižek reads this transformation as opening a spa!e for a post-patriar!hal !ommunity or !eremony' effe!tively allowing the opera to be read as a feminist treatise !alling for a new Joan of <r!# Bor Badiou also' this transformation is a radi!ali=ing moment# Badiou asserts that' in terms of the se es' this manoeuvre !an!els the differen!e between them# (Badiou )*+*0 ++2. viii In opposition to Badiou and Žižek&s reading' 4i!hard $ohr argues that the original staging of 1arsifal' with its homoeroti! overtones' is the truly subversive version pointing to a future gay male religion without gods# ($ohr +--)0 )+2. .agner&s operas have# Both Žižek and Badiou assert that alternate styles of presentation are essential for his works today and the one should not be beholden to .agner&s part towards Christianity# In Badiou&s view the finale of 1arsifal' with its de!laration that the 64edeemer has been 4edeemed8 is perhaps the first 9 .

agner represents an attempt to deal with the !onse>uen!es of !ulture before the @e!ond .ies Badiou presents the !riti>ue of . 3he nature of the !ommunal ritual during the finale points toward the diffi!ult >uestion of !eremony in modern so!iety# Bor Badiou' the finale raises several >uestions# Is !eremony !ompatible with demo!ra!yO In the !urrent state of the situation is !eremony possibleO Badiou argues that today !eremony is both ne!essary and impossible# 3hus in Badiouian terms' !eremony is a possibility for an event# 5( +h lle!2es !$ Misse$ 3ppor.agner as a rite of passage for the great thinkers of the +-th and )*th !enturies# In the same way' perhaps "a== has also served this fun!tion for !ontemporary ?uropean philosophers# If .o!!urren!e of the deconstruction of Christianity# Bor $ohr' against 7iet=s!he&s per!eption of the opera as plainly Christian' the !eremony that !on!ludes 1arsifal pla!es the human !ommunity as the saviour of Aod0 Differen!e' power' and killing within the old order be!ome transformed into affinity between like and like in the new# @a!red beyond trading yet of human origin' the fundamental value ritualisti!ally ena!ted and advan!ed in this 6sa!red dramati! festival8 is e>uality between persons L ($ohr +--)0 +2H..orld . 3ollective 0mprovisation.eimar' and post-war !ulture# In !ontrast to <dorno&s early statements on Ja==' where he !laims that it mas>uerades as revolutionary musi! while asserting bourgeois individualism# Badiou des!ribes "a== as the 6great !reation of the <meri!an bla!ks8 (Badiou )**M0 -). 10 .ar' the en!ounter with "a== represents the aftermath and the en!ounter with <fri!an-<meri!an' .# 3he body is the works themselves0 1rnette Coleman&s %ree "azz.u!i.' and !ounts it as one of the three ma"or types of musi! that o!!urred in the )* th !entury# Unfortunately' Badiou only des!ribes the ma"or artists of "a== as stret!hing from Louis <rmstrong to 3helonious $onk# 3his leaves out the in!redible !ontributions made by artists su!h as 1rnette Coleman and the other great free "a== artists# Badiou&s !ontention that all popular musi! after $onk / in!luding ro!k musi! and ele!troni! musi! / should be !ounted as post-"a== Gyouth musi!& is similarly suspe!t# 1f !ourse' one should not be afraid to apply Badiou&s !on!eption of the artisti! sub"e!t to works of "a==# Is free "a== an eventOix If it is an event' its tra!e is the su!!in!t statement by <lbert <yer0 6It&s not about notes anymore8# (7isenson +--:0 +H+.

hilst his early performan!es both pioneered and e emplified free "a==' by the end of his !areer' his re!ordings had drifted into pop musi!# 3his !an be seen in the shift from the brillian!e of 63he 3ruth is $ar!hing In8 / a performan!e that !ontains the entire history of "a== while trans!ending it / to the only slight variation on +-. 3he disposition that posits that free "a== is only noise must be !ontested# Bollowing Badiou one !ould say0 6It is ne!essary to add one&s own listening' patiently' to the body of the new musi!# Eleasure will !ome' as an additional bonus#8 (Badiou )**-0 H.F.# <lbert <yer is an e ample of an artist who' after initial fidelity' betrayed the free-"a== event# . %et what su!h !riti!isms miss is that' far from being !ompletely spontaneous' with the musi! appearing e nihilio' free "a== re>uires a !ertain amount of dis!ipline# In his interview with Derrida' 1rnette Coleman unders!ores this point0 .hen I was doing free "a==' most people thought that I "ust pi!ked up my sa ophone and played whatever was going through my head' without any rule' but that wasnQt true L Eeople on the outside think that itQs a form of e traordinary freedom' but I think that itQs a limitation# (Coleman and Derrida )**F0 2)*-2)+..*&s pop musi! that he offered later in his !areer# $any !laim that free "a== effe!tively killed "a==# 3he ?nglish !riti! Ehillip Larking even went so far as to say that0 6Coltrane sounds like nothing so mu!h as a !lub bore who has been metamorphisi=ed by a fellow-member of magi!al powers into a pair of bagpipes#8 (7isenson +--:0 +H2.scension by John Coltrane' <lbert <yler&s 6Ahosts8' or Ce!il 3aylor&s 4nit #tructures# 3he sub"e!t of free "a== is the history of the new forms in!orporated into new works# 3he real of this sub"e!t is the relation between the tra!e' in this !ase that 6It&s not about the notes anymore8' and it&s musi!al works# Just as with atonal !lassi!al musi!' by the end of the +-:*s' the body of free "a== had began to dissipate' and many of the early innovators had rea!hed untimely deaths# 3he split body of free "a== was en!apsulated in the differen!e between free "a== as performan!e and re!orded free "a==' in so far as it was no longer simply possible' following @artre' to assert that 6Ja== is like bananas / it must be !onsumed on the spot8 (@artre +--F0 .. 5( +o!clusio! 3he >uestion underpinning Badiou&s artisti! sub"e!t and Žižek&s !ommunist !ulture is 11 .

12 . and histori!al opening0 far from an obsta!le to !hange' liturgy keeps the spa!e for radi!al !hange open (Žižek )*+*b0 2:H. 3his is the same problemati! raised by their politi!s# 3he ideology of late !apitalism asserts that new forms of high-art and new forms of politi!s are impossible' and will be forever impossible# Žižek&s !ommunist !ulture is an attempt to show that !eremony is possible' that there are !ommunal !elebrations' gatherings' and performan!es that are not fundamentally totalitarian0 3his is how we should answer the reproa!h that 6!ommunism8 is being used here as a magi! word' an empty sign la!king any pre!ise or positive vision of a new so!iety' merely a rituali=ed token of belonging to a new initiati! !ommunity0 there is no opposition between liturgy (!eremony.ultimately0 !an !eremony possibly play a role in politi!sO Is it fundamentally totalitarianO 5ere Badiou replies0 It is probably both ne!essary and impossible today' but that is not a serious problem9 that is the way things often are# Aenuine problems are like that' both ne!essary and impossible# <nd possibility arrives right when you no longer e pe!t it# 3hat is what an event is# (Badiou )*+*0 +M-.

4. v '(r a his%(r* () Wagner an/ his rela%i(nship 8i%h srael see 9a:a0a She))i’s Between Collective emor! and anipulation: "he Holocaust# Wagner and the $sraelis an/ "he %ing of !ths.i<ek 2004. 2pera9s #econd Death' London0 4outledge# Jagod=inski' J# (n#d.. 1035 S3rel*. " ns%ea/ () 0erel* i0i%a%ing %he a))e+%ive )ea%3res () ver6al spee+h.B Where 8e )in/ %he even%. vi See "he Sublime &b'ect of $deolog! 41989. %he rea+%ive s36Ae+% is never )ar a8a*. Q@ymptomal Cnots and ?vental 4uptures0 Žižek' Badiou' and Dis!erning the Indis!ernibleQ' 0nternational "ournal of 5i6e& #tudies' vol# +' no# )# Coleman' 1# and Derrida' J# ()**F.i<ek 2002. %he %r3%h i%sel) 8hi+h speaks. resigni)i*ing %he previ(3s +(n%ingen% %ra+es as p(in%ing %(8ar/ %he presen%. Q@ounds of 5ateQ' in Ariffen' 4# and Beldman' $# (ed#. 1135 ix . vii .a%i(n an/ +(3l/ als( "represen% %he re/e0p%i(n () /ea%hl* sens3ali%* an/ (6s+ene 'ouissance in 8hi+h %he 2hris%iani%* () %he pas% has exha3s%e/ i%sel). %( paraphrase La+an. Eri& #atie' London0 4eaktion Books# Dolar' $# and Žižek' @# ()**). 185 viii '(r ?a/i(3 %his is si0ilar %( S%.elei/. ii n !nglish "#an $gains% #an& iii '(r a %ransla%i(n () %he l*ri+s see.i<ek’s p(si%i(n (n %r3%h an/ 03si+ has ev(lve/ (ver %i0e.& 4?a/i(3 2010. 0n #earch of Wager' London0 Rerso# <dorno' 3# (+---. h%%p. 0nfinite Thought' London0 Continuum# Badiou' <# ()**-.+(0-en-l*ri+s-r(senr(%-0ann1gegen10ann iv '(r a /e%aile/ his%(r* () R(+k $gains% 2(003nis0 see Sounds of Hate 420045 6* 7(hn 2(%%er in Fascism: Post-War Fascism.i<ek’s n(%i(n %ha% "a %r3l* +rea%ive a+% n(% (nl* res%r3+%3res %he )iel/ () )3%3re p(ssi6ili%ies 63% als( res%r3+%3res %he pas%. 835. %ascism. @a3ls ra/i+ali. %his applies %( %he +rea%ive a+%s () %he )ree Aa. Logics of Worlds' London0 Continuum# Badiou' <# ()*+*. h(8 8(3l/ i% 6e p(ssi6le %( appr(a+h 6e6(p an/ %he (l/er )(r0s 8i%h(3% seeing %he0 as p(in%ing %( )ree Aa.' pp# 2+--)H# Cotter' J# ()**F. in 03si+. QBadiouQs Challange to <rt and its ?du!ation0 or Qart !annot be taught / . Larkin’s Comprehending Columbine.& 4.1ost-8ar %ascism' London0 4outledge# Davis' $#?# ()**:. #ound %igures' @tanford0 @tanford UE# Badiou' <# ()**M.--her.... Q3he 1therQs Language0 Ja!>ues Derrida Interviews 1rnette Coleman' )2 June +--:Q' 7enre' no# 2. 03si+ians. $)%er )ree Aa. -e)ere!ces <dorno' 3# ()**M.i See Ralph W. %ive Lessons on Wagner' London0 Rerso# Bryant' L# ()**:. 03si+ sh(3l/ 6e given %he righ% %( =speak )(r i%sel)= > in +(n%ras% %( %he /e+eiving ver6al spee+h. page 124. i% is.

The <ing of $/ths' @usse <!ademi! Eress# @heffi' 7# ()** !an however edu!ateKQQ' in den 5eyer' C# (ed#. QBetween Colle!tive $emory and $anipulation0 3he 5olo!aust' . Q. Thin&ing Education Through .agner and the IsraelisQ' "ournal of 0sraeli istor/' vol# )2' no# +' @pring' pp# . . 7a/ 0deas' Boston0 Bea!on Eress# 7iet=s!he' B# ()***.The $urder of "azz' Cambridge0 De Capo Eress# 1rledge' 4# (+--*. The %reedom 1rinciple' 7ew %ork0 DeCapo Eress# $ohr' 4# (+--).a Lacanian . The #ublime 2bject of 0deolog/' )nd edition' London0 Rerso# Žižek' @# ()**F.pproach' $a!millan# Johnston' <# ()**H.orth @avingOQ' "ournal of 1hilosoph/ and #cripture' vol# )' no# +' Ball' pp# +H-2*# .agner . 3omprehending 3olumbine' 3emple UE# Litweiler' J# (+--H. QBrPnhildeQs <!tQ' The 0nternational "ournal of 5i6e& #tudies' vol# F' no# *' pp# +-FF# Žižek' @# ()*+*b.M-::# Žižek' @# ()*+*a.hy is . :lue.lain :adiou' Chi!hester0 John . #atie The 3omposer' Cambridge UE# Erit!hett' J# (+--2.outh 3ulture. 5i6e&)s 2ntolog/' 7orthwestern UE# Larkin' 4# ()**:. %rontiers of "azz' 2rd edition' Aretna0 Eeli!an Eublishing# @!hoenberg' <# (+-H:.iley S @ons# Jagod=inski' J# ()**M. The $usic of "ohn 3age' Cambridge0 University of Cambridge# @artre' J#-E# ()**:. Existentialism is a umanism' %ale UE# @artre' J#-E# (+--F. $usic in . Q3he Birth of 3ragedyQ' in :asic Writings of Nietzsche' 7ew %ork0 4andom 5ouse# 7isenson' ?# (+--:.rnold #choenberg Letters' University of California Eress# @heffi' 7# ()**+. Living in the End Times' London0 Rerso# Žižek' @# ()**H. QJa== in <meri!aQ' in 3oledano' 4#d# (ed#.

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