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Zero Squared #66: Basic Drone pt 2
April 28, 2016 09:12 AM PDT
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Joanna Demers is associate professor of musicology at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where she specializes in post-1945 popular and art music. Her book with Zero Books Drone and Apocalypse was published on December 11th in 2015 and this week she returns to the for part two of a conversation on drone music.

Last week we lost two great musicians. The pop Star Prince and the experimental musician Richard Lyons. Everyone knows about Prince, but Lyons was a founding member of Negativland and it seems appropriate to dedicate this week’s podcast to him and his band.

In this episode you’ll hear an airconditioner shift tones, Timothy Morton discussing the style of the consumer, a clip from 1999, Negativland’s Time Zones, Negativland’s Harry to the Ferry and Pastor Dick and Muriel's Purse Fund.

Zero Squared #65: Basic Drone
April 20, 2016 08:39 PM PDT
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Joanna Demers is associate professor of musicology at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where she specializes in post-1945 popular and art music. Her book with Zero Books Drone and Apocalypse was published on December 11th in 2015 and this week she returns to the podcast to discuss drone music more generally.

I want to thank people who reached out to me in the last week or so. Many people left compliments about last week’s podcast with Iona Singh and I think this week’s podcast about drone music works well as a follow up. Again we return to discussing aesthetics, perhaps from a formal perspective.

In this episode you’ll hear a clip from an old BBC documentary about Musique-Concrete, an original work of drone music created in Audacity by combining imported digital noise from the Adobe application and combining that with a stretched version of the National Anthem, an excerpt from John Cage’s album Indeterminancy, and the dronification of Star Wars, and Negativland’s Yellow Black and Rectangular.

Zero Squared #64: Color and Form
April 13, 2016 09:08 PM PDT
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The book Color, Facture, Art and Design is the topic this week as author Iona Singh joins me to discuss Constructivism, materialism and Marx. Iona, as well as being a Zero Books author, is an artist. Those are her paintings on the cover for this week’s show. It was great talking her.

Last week I mentioned and linked to an essay by Brendan O’Neill at Spiked and asked that people reach out to me either through comments, by email, or on Facebook. I received a couple of emails back, one from Vinnie in New Zealand who said he’d been listening to the podcast and who, rightly, accused me of wanting to be Marc Maron. I also received some comments on the O’Neill piece. An anonymous listener said that O’Neill is consistently defends the powerful and the privileged while making an undeveloped reference to “true leftism” and the other comments were fairly similar.

I would just like to point out that, while the rich and the powerful don’t deserve any sympathy there is a danger in getting too invested in the latest charges of corruption. Namely that this will revive a dream of a functional capitalism that manages to produce something like social equality.

The music in this episode includes Velimir Khlebnikov’s The Radio of The Future, a condensed explanation of Kant’s Aesthetics, an excerpt from The Boards of Canada’s song Aquarius, and a history of the color blue. The music you’re listening to right now is from the short film Suprematism in our Life, but in just a moment you’ll be listening to Iona Singh and I discuss Color and Form.

Zero Squared #63: Marx on Machines pt. 2
April 06, 2016 03:02 PM PDT
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Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 15 entitled “Machinery and Modern Industry” is the subject this week as Andy Marshall and Andrew Kliman return for part two of the podcast. However, the three of us also discuss how capitalism deforms education and what today’s education system really is and how it works.

It’s Wednesday, the 6th of April, 2016 and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Squared and the host of this podcast.

I'm curious to know what people think of Brendan O’Neill’s essay The Panama Papers: Rich-Bashing Won’t Fix the Crisis. You can find the Zero Books Facebook page, find us on twitter, you can contact me at me through my personal website (that's douglaslain.com) or just leave a comment below.

The music in this episode includes street musicians covering Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in the Wall and Negativland’s A Nice Place to Live. The music you’re listening to right now is an excerpt from Negativland’s first album entitled Negativland, but in just a moment you’ll hear Andy, Andrew and I discuss The Machine.

Zero Podcast #62: Marx on Machines
March 31, 2016 05:00 AM PDT
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Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, Chapter 15 entitled “Machinery and Modern Industry” is the topic this week as Andy Marshall and Andrew Kliman return to the podcast. For people who have been paying close attention you might realize that Andy, Andrew and I have been reading Capital together for a little over a year, and that we’re coming to the end of the endeavor.

Since 2008 Marx has suffered through a resurgence. He’s often spoken of or referenced, but little read or understood. This episode of Zero Squared is one small part of a project to work against that trend.

The music in this episode includes a ukulele cover of Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine” and the theme from the television show “Out of the Unknown” and Metal Machine Music.

Zero Squared #61: Minds, Value, and Irrational Numbers
March 23, 2016 08:53 PM PDT
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Andy Marshall and I have read philosophy together for something like four years now, and this week’s episode is a recording of what was to be a discussion of Chapter 15 of Marx’s Capital, Volume 1, but what turned into a debate about the difference between the natural sciences and social science, matter and mind, and knowledge and affect. Included in this conversation is a discussion of the labor theory of value and the reality of the irrational (number.)

It’s Wednesday, March 23, 2016, and I’m Douglas Lain the publisher of Zero Books and the host of this podcast.
If you are a regular listener to this podcast you can help spread the word about it by posting a review of the podcast in iTunes. Also you might want to find the Zero Books Facebook page and or to follow us on twitter.

In this episode you’ll hear clips from a youtube video on Pythagoras and Behaviourism, and Clokworx by Mental Flux.

Zero Squared #60: Marx/Adorno at the PNCA
March 16, 2016 05:33 PM PDT
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Last week I gave presentation at the Pacific Northwest College of Arts. After an introductions and a discussion about Zero Books, Doug gave a presentation on the Critique of the Gotha Program and a brief discussion of Adorno. Also included in this presentation was Brendan Cooney's video on Abstract Labor and a 70s advertisement for the Polaroid SX-70. Special thanks for this episode goes to Sarah O'Hare and the other PNCA Critical Theory graduate students and professors. From Adorno: The sociological theory that the loss of the support of objectively established religion, the dissolution of the last remnants of pre-capitalism, together with technological and social differentiation or specialisation, have led to cultural chaos is disproved every day; for culture now impresses the same stamp on everything. From Marx: But the whole program, for all its democratic clang, is tainted through and through by the Lassallean sect's servile belief in the state, or, what is no better, by a democratic belief in miracles; or rather it is a compromise between these two kinds of belief in miracles, both equally remote from socialism.
Zero Squared #59: It's Not Over
March 09, 2016 01:18 PM PST
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Pete Dolack has been published on a variety of political and literary topics, mostly pertaining to contemporary issues. He has been published multiple times in the peer-reviewed academic journal Working USA: The Journal of Labor & Society, and currently is published regularly by the online popular magazines CounterPunch and ZNet. His book, It’s Not Over: Learning from the Socialist Experiment was published by Zero Books in February of 2016 and he is the guest on this week’s podcast.

Rick Wolff, author of Capitalism Hits the Fan, blurbed Dolack’s book this way: As Cold War taboos on honest discussions of capitalism and socialism lose their force, important books like this are emerging. They ask why capitalism keeps provoking movements to go beyond it, why they have not yet achieved that goal, and what we must learn from them so the next efforts prove more effective. Dolack here contributes to the vital emerging answers.

In this episode you’ll hear clips from Brendan Cooney’s youtube video “Manufacturing Consent” and Coco Briaval’s cover of the Internationale.

Zero Squared #58: Memory, Spirit, and Christopher Hitchens
March 02, 2016 10:13 AM PST
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Stefany Anne Golberg is a writer for magazines such as The Smart Set, the former Critic-in Residence at Drexel University, a multi-media artist, and a founding member of Flux Factory, an arts collective in New York. Her husband Morgan Meis has a PhD in Philosophy is a founding member of Flux Factory as well, and is a recipient of the Whiting Award. Together their book Dead People, a collection of literary and critical obituaries, is due out from Zero Books in June of this year. As this week’s episode is about remembering and attempting to understand the significance of the dead it seems appropriate here at the start to offer up a short excerpt from Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit: The dead individual, by his having detached and liberated his being from his action or his negative unity, is an empty particular, merely existing passively for some other, at the mercy of every lower irrational organic agency, and the [chemical, physical] forces of abstract material elements, both of which are now stronger than himself, the former on account of the life which they have, the latter on account of their negative nature.(1) he family keeps away from the dead this dishonouring of him by the desires of unconscious organic agencies and by abstract elements, puts its own action in place of theirs, and weds the relative to the bosom of the earth, the elemental individuality that passes not away. Thereby the family makes the dead a member of a community(2) which prevails over and holds under control the powers of the particular material elements and the lower living creatures, which sought to have their way with the dead and destroy him. In this episode you’ll hear from Thomas J.J. Altizer on Hegel and the death of God, an clip from Gene Martin and Reverend AA Allen and the gospel hymn “God’s Not Dead,”a bit of dialogue from the television show True Detective, a clip from the documentary film “Manufacturing Consent,” and Dan Lett’s “Yeah It’s All Right.”
Zero Books # 57: Hegel vs. Spinoza
February 24, 2016 11:53 AM PST
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Gregor Moder teaches philosophy at the University of Ljubljana. The original plan for this episode was to discuss his paper about street theater and Althusser but the two of us hit it off so well, so easily fell into philosophical conversation, that my prepared questions on his paper were simply pushed aside as we entertained each other with a spontaneous conversation about Hegel, Spinoza, and, of all things, Donald Trump.

In the United States the reality TV show known as the presidential race is dominating our political imaginations as the hollowness, the silliness, and the unreality of the spectacle proves to have its own mesmerizing power. However, our aim at Zero Books shall be to, as much as possible, think and evaluate the problems this spectacle is designed to distract us away from even as we try to suss out what secret meanings even these distractions contain.

Having mentioned distractions I should also point out that listeners to this podcast might want to take a look at the 8 bit philosophy youtube channel. There is a video in the works about Alfie Bown’s book Enjoying It: Candy Crush and Capitalism as well as a fun vid about Donald Trump and the end of politics that’s online now.

In this episode you’ll hear a clip from Mel Brooks’ Hitler Rap, an excerpt from an old Diet Soap podcast wherein I describe Hegel’s phenomenology to my son Benjamin and my wife Miriam, the music of Cyriak, and Slavoj Zizek pontificating on Hegel. The music you’re hearing right now is from Cyriak’s video “Something” but in just a moment you’ll be listening to Gregor Moder and I talk about Hegel and Spinoza.

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