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Pat Kane: Seduced, Abandoned...& Theorised - A Brief Intellectual History of a Creative Career


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My Keynote presented to the Scottish Doctoral Management Conference at the School of Management, Univesrity of St.Andrews, 28th May, 2010

My Keynote presented to the Scottish Doctoral Management Conference at the School of Management, Univesrity of St.Andrews, 28th May, 2010

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  • 1. SEDUCED, ABANDONED ...& THEORISED a brief intellectual history of a creative career Pat Kane Keynote for SDMC Conference, St Andrews University 28/5/10
  • 2. I'm addressing an audience of post-graduates and PhD candidates in an institute which is about “capitalising on creativity', It might be useful for you to hear how this commercial and civic entrepreneur/activist has used the scholarly resources of social and critical theory to orient himself in his creative career – one where the 'capitalisation of creativity' is becoming an ever stranger, less-obvious pursuit...
  • 3. 1982-1988: Pop music and the interpellated, constructed self Author is a subject-position produced by ideology-as-discourse (Althusser) The self is forged by entry into the symbolic order, always susceptible to fissure and morphing under pressure of the desire that is produced by the moment of self-making (Lacan) James Brown’s four collapses a night (Simon Frith) Institutional control is the key political prize – get that, you shape the subjectivities (Eagleton)… … but remember that there can be a collective psychological passivity in the face of incessant change, that repressive social orders can exploit (Gramsci) Though get ready for a world of cybernetic information networks with amazing potential for empowerment (Nicholls, The Work of Culture in the Age of Cybernetic System, Screen 21, Winter 1988) [Thank u Glasgow Uni]
  • 4. André Frankovits, ed., Seduced and Abandoned: The Baudrillard Scene. Compiled by Eddie Yeghiayan Frankovits, André, ed., Seduced and Abandoned: The Baudrillard Scene. Semiotext(e). Autonomedia. Glebe, NSW, Australia & New York: Stonemoss Services & Semiotexte(e), 1984. Contents : Frankovits, André. "Letter of Introduction":5-8 Foss, Paul. "Despero Ergo Sum":9-16 Delaruelle, Jacques and McDonald, John. "Resistance and Submission":17-27 Burchill, Louise."Either/or: Peripeteia of an Alternative on Jean Baudrillard's De la Séduction ":28-44 Gibson, Ross. "Customs and Excise":45-57 Hood, Colin. "Fly by Night":58-62 Carter, Nick. "From Red Center to Black Hole":63-82 Preston, Andrew. "Down to Earth":82-90 Meagan, Morris. "Room 101 or A Few Things Worst in the World":91-117 Interpellation and discourse theory works for a young eighties pop star in the major music business because he is faced with over-determining ideologies of promotion, success and value – formats and conventions of pop music and genre that are surprisingly fixed.... It's only the force of Lacanian 'desire' irrupting into the midst of everything that makes change possible, inevitable. But it results in a divided, schizo personality, not much grace or civility...
  • 5. 1988-1993: Pop activism and the public sphere Beware of all blithe assertions of positivity, optimism and hopefulness (Adorno) Communicative rationality constitutes the public sphere, rooted in the immanent intersubjectivity of language – and can found a ‘constitutional patriotism’ (Habermas) Nationalism might be a driver of modernity, rather than a brake (Nairn, Gellner) Beware of “enlightenment fundamentalism” (Gellner) Thatcherism is a “regressive modernisation” which is essentially riding winds of post-Fordist change, “flexible specialisation”, that will eventuate in a new politics (Stuart Hall, Geoff Mulgan)
  • 6. Glasgow University Rector 1990-1993 (defeating Tony Benn) – years of constitutional, anti-Tory activism But also losing major record contract in 1991 (not coincidental) … Moved into journalism, radio, made music part-time RESULTS IN....
  • 7. 1993-2000: from presenter/writer to editor/founder Technology is our second nature – and it also develops like a complex adaptive system in biology (Kelly) The politics of network society is defined by relationship between the Net and the Self – one disembedding and flexibilising, the the other seeking security and identity thru culture (Castells) Technoscience is becoming so powerful that we need to think of the new “consiliences” between natural science and human/social science (Brockman, Wilson) The internet is perhaps our most glorious manifestation yet of the expanding circle of interdependence that marks the development of social complexity (Wright)
  • 8. Associate editor and columnist, The Herald, 1995-1998 One of founding Editors, The Sunday Herald, 1998-2000 Newspapers/broadcasting (beginning to be amplified by the internet in this period) is the “good system” - an organisation and bureaucracy supporting an ethos that aims to “comfort the afflicted/afflict the comfortable”. Theory makes it worth the struggle.... Which helped to shape...
  • 9. 2000-2005: ideas entrepreneur with the Play Ethic
    • Brian Sutton-Smith’s The Ambiguity of Play
    • Adaptive potentiation is the essence of play
    • Multidisciplinary study is required to understand play
    • A focus on play may begin to disclose a new ‘creative ontology’ (Deleuze) – a new foundation for human nature, and thus human society
  • 10. A book, a website, and eventually a consultancy, but always a constant conversation with people who increasingly find this “meme” through searches on the Net and peer-to-peer recommendations...with global reach....
  • 11. 2005-present: making music in the digital revolution The digital revolution discloses a commons of knowledge and culture – first in the music business and then elsewhere in the content industries (Shirky, Lessig) What might the politics of this new ‘commonism’ be? And how ironic/fatalistic should a content producer be in the face of this new situation? (Negri)
  • 12. Network theory tells us that we can only TRY to make money out of a community that has all the power... We're sing what is ubiquitous (digital content) to drive people to what is scarce (live performance, rare and beautiful objects with our imprimatur) In the 'legacy/heritage' business – 1 million Hue And Cry consumers between 1987-1991 – how do we reconnect to their memories, & excite their sensibilities with new material that echos the past, but satisfies our own desire for originality/poiesis?
  • 13. SEDUCED, ABANDONED ...& THEORISED a brief intellectual history of a creative career TA! Pat Kane [email_address] 28/5/10