21 December 2011

Recorded Lectures: P.E.S.T.: Black Metal Theory Symposium

On 20 November 2011, the tenebrous Pint Bar in the heart of Dublin city played host to a discrete but buzzing crowd for the third black metal theory conference (the previous two held in Brooklyn in 2009 and London in 2011). Named somewhat mysteriously "Philial Epidemic Strategy Tryst" and organised by familiar BiM Conference names Karin Sellberg and Michael O'Rourke, the lineup featured presentations by both of them as well as talks by such people as the wonderfully discursive Scott Wilson, the vaguely heretical Nicola Masciandaro, shrewdly challenging Steven Shakespeare and Vincent Como, artist-philosopher on blackness (whose artwork accentuated both the physical space of the symposium and the P.E.S.T. circular).

While the first two symposia provoked vehement cries of alarm and disgust from academics and black metal fans alike, the furor seems to have substantially calmed, replaced by a greater audience fascination and demand. Consequently, the entire symposium was live-streamed and has been archived as two video recordings by independent publishing house and experimental recording label Radical Matters (accessible through the Black Metal Theory blog). Two of the presenters who were unable to attend in person have also posted their video recordings online; links to these can also be found at the Black Metal Theory site. The abstracts for each talk can be found here.
"The future, in the sense of the to-come, presupposes the philial, the epidemic, the strategic tryst. Black Metal Theory has as its prerequisite a kind of collective self-making... This is the very condition and principle of Black Metal theory’s politics, by which I mean its final nondeterminability and unrealizability, its bursting open. Not not black metal, not not theory, yes, yes black metal, yes, yes theory."
[Michael O'Rourke, "The Mutual Pestering of Black Metal and Theory"]

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