Sunday, December 05, 2021

The Pleasures of the 'Text(e)


Owen Hatherley remembers the petite 'n' portable pocket-size "Foreign Agents" series of books published by Semiotext(e) - a format that was the little black dress of critical theory. Wistfully recalling a time when all things semiotic and (post-)structural were sexy, Owen traces how these contraband-seeming catalysts to delirious pretentiousness exerted an unlikely influence on certain elements within the UK music press. Which carried through to the blog wave of the 2000s and thence to Zero and its breakaway Repeater (now reunited, hoorah), also in the business of compact paperbacks packed with ideas. 

The piece is a Tribune tribute to the late Sylvère Lotringer, obviously - and the music connection / music-crit reception makes a certain sort of sense given that he moved in the orbit of NYC punk and No Wave.