Well, it would seem then that the international proliferation of sound in all its many forms is on the right track. Escaping the pseudomorph culture calls not for reacting against it and being constrained by its negative space, but creating one's own level irrespective of it. Culture critics claim ours as a time of decline, but they are assuming that the lack of a dominant paradigm is indicative of decay. I would venture that as in the other arts, past, present and future are coexisting and intermingling more freely than ever. Capitalist control of the means of distribution keeps somewhat of a lid on culture, but only just.
The aid to former French culture minister Jack Lange, Jacques Attali wrote an interesting book called Noise, The Political Economy of Music: This was written around 1977 and first published in English in the mid 80's. Much of what he writes is even truer of the present than of the time it was written.
"Music is more than an object of study: it is a way of perceiving the world. A tool of understanding. Today no theorizing accomplished through language or mathematics can suffice any longer; it is incapable of accounting for what is essential in time - the quantitative and the fluid, threats and violence. In the face of growing ambiguity of the signs being used and exchanged, the most well established concepts are crumbling and every theory is wavering. The available representationsof the economy trapped within frameworks erected in the 17th Century or, at latest, toward 1850, can neither predict, describe, nor even express what awaits us.
It is thus necessary to imagine radically new theoretical forms, in order to speak to new realities. Music, the organization of noise, is one such form. It reflects the manufacture of society; it constitutes the audible vibrations and signs that make up society. An instrument of understanding, it prompts us to decipher a sound form of knowledge.
My intention here is thus not only to theorize about music, but to theorize through music. The result will be unusual and unacceptable conclusions about music and society, the past and the future. That is perhaps why music is so rarely listened to and why - as with every facet of social life for which the rules are breaking down (sexuality, the family, politics) - it is censored, people refuse to draw conclusions from it.
In the chapters that follow, music will be presented as originating in ritual murder, of which it is a simulacrum, a minor form of sacrifice heralding change. We will see that in that capacity it was an attribute of religious and political power, that it signified order, but also that it prefigured subversion. Then after entering into commodity exchange, it participated in the growth and creation of capital and spectacle. Fetishized as a commodity, music is illustrative of the evolution of our entire society; deritualize a social form, repress an activity of the body, specialize its practice, sell it as a spectacle, generalize its consumption, then see that it is stockpiled until it loses its meaning. Today, music heralds - regardless of what property mode of capital will be - the establishment of a society of repetition in which nothing will happen anymore. But at the same time, it heralds the emergence of a formidable subversion, one leading to a radically new organization never yet theorized, of which self-managemnt is but a distant echo."