Neoliberal Noise: Attali, Foucault, & the Biopolitics of Uncool

Culture, Theory, and Critique 52 (2):138-158 (2014)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Is it even possible to resist or oppose neoliberalism? I consider two responses that translate musical practices into counter-hegemonic political strategies: Jacques Attali’s theory of “composition” and the biopolitics of “uncool.” Reading Jacques Attali’s Noise through Foucault’s late work, I argue that Attali’s concept of “repetition” is best understood as a theory of neoliberal biopolitics, and his theory composition is actually a model of deregulated subjectivity. Composition is thus not an alternative to neoliberalism but its quintessence. An aesthetics and ethos of “uncool” might be a more viable alternative. If and when they function as bad, unprofitable investments, uncool practices like smoothness (predictable regularity) can undercut neoliberal imperatives to self-capitalization. I consider both the impact of neoliberalism on music, and how the study of music can advance theories of neoliberalism.

Author's Profile

Robin M. James
University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Analytics

Added to PP
2014-06-16

Downloads
2,972 (#2,406)

6 months
180 (#16,627)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?