COIL – Interview from 1986 plus Introduction

“Jhonn Balance (aka John Balance and Geff Rushton) died at home on November 13 in a fall, leaving the music world and the wider world of magick without one of its most gifted and vivid voices.”

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The news was shocking to many people interested in “industrial” and “experimental” music. Personally I was surprised at John Balance’s (as I knew him) relatively young age – 42. Not because it is such an unusual fact dying from an accident at that age – for accidents any age will do. But my mind would zoom back to late 1986 when I was exchanging letters with him for the purpose of an interview I was conducting for a zine I was doing at the time. This was a time before the internet and emails – it was hand-written pages that were sent back and forth. I was 20 then but a large gap seemingly separated me from the somewhat admired 24 year old.
I had come to music relatively late and had entered a rapid development in my late teens. The Coil album “Scatology” was a very special discovery for me: With a black and white cover filled with text and literary references it caught my attention by chance in a local record store, and when I listened to it I was blown away. Co-produced by Clint Ruin a.k.a. Jim Foetus, the sound is still astonishing now, a tough to-the-point production. This was a debut album by a then new formation, but of course the story didn’t start there. [Read more →]

ABSOLUTE MATERIALISM

Heaven’s Gate, Artaud, ‘regenerative slime’.
Part 2 of Gnostic Front, datacide two.

Few self-contained pieces of bad advice can rival self-help legend Sheldon Kopp’s ‘learn to forgive yourself again and again and again and again’. This would not only mean pretending to be guilty of digging whatever pit you happen to fall into, but presuming to say where the responsibility would end. But if guilt is imbecilic, shame is a perpetual motion machine, the hidden motor of Spinoza’s indivisible self-animating substance (and for Marx, apparently ‘a revolutionary sentiment’). For example some cheap piece of evidence, a social encounter, or the sound of your own saliva clicking, provokes ridiculous lamentations, first person phrases which are a cause for shame themselves. Of course these are incompatible with whatever notions usually reconcile you to yourself. Yet the faint verisimilitude that authorizes your small ration of complacency also resounds in these horrible new postures. Their slapstick vulgarity vouches for that of the habits closest to your heart. (Thus there’s nothing more nihilistic than memory as consolation, a desperate refrain of ‘They can’t take that away from me’. Ten floodlit minutes of uneventful terror infallibly interpret the lifetime leading up to them. Cf. Benjamin: ’even the dead’ will not be safe from the enemy if he wins. [Read more →]

Gnostic Front – Cultural Studies and Other Suicide Cults

‘It is in Gnosticism, that failed religion of the West, that there appears an experience of time in radical opposition to the Greek and Christian versions…it posits a concept whose spatial model can be represented by a broken line. In this way it strikes directly at what remains unaltered in classical antiquity and Christianity alike: duration, precise and continuous time. The cosmic time of Greek experience is denied by Gnosticism in the name of the world’s absolute estrangement from a god (God is the allòtrios, the supreme other) whose providential work cannot be a matter of preserving cosmic laws, but of breaking them. The impetus towards redemption of Christian linear time is negated because, for the Gnostic, the Resurrection is not something to be awaited in time, to occur in the more or less remote future; it has already happened.
The time of Gnosticism, therefore, is an incoherent and unhomogeneous time, whose truth is in the moment of abrupt interruption, when man, in a sudden act of consciousness, takes possession of his own condition of being resurrected. In keeping with this experience of interrupted time, the Gnostic attitude is profoundly revolutionary: it refuses the past while valuing in it, through an exemplary sense of the present, precisely what was condemned as negative (Cain, Esau, the inhabitants of Sodom), and expecting nothing from the future’.

Giorgio Agamben, Infancy and History

In The Baffler No. 8, Chris Lehman makes an eloquent case against treating this theology of time as anything other than a cultural curio, or at best a melancholy symbol of academic feeble-mindedness. [Read more →]

Garbage People

This text is about the homoeopathic distribution of terror as a technique of control. It is also about techniques of resistance in the context of an increasingly totalitarian western world that seems to solidify in a total presence of surveillance, discipline and control.

Garbage People

In a world like ours where the state will get away with mass killings and the media cover it (up) all the way, one cannot but feel a certain relief when someone, anyone interrupts the flow of violence and directs it back at power. [Read more →]

“I am an alien (wo)man . . . I beheld the Life and the Life beheld me.”

In his book, The Gnostic Religion, Hans Jonas unravels the enigmatic instability which lies at the heart of alienation:
“The alien is that which stems from elsewhere and does not belong here. To those who belong here it is thus the strange, the unfamiliar and incomprehensible; but their world on its part is just as incomprehensible to the alien that comes to dwell here, and like a foreign land where it is far from home. Then it suffers the lot of the stranger who is lonely, unprotected, uncomprehended, and uncomprehending in a situation full of danger. [Read more →]

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