Artists Generate Theory

Quote from Kodwo Eshun interview, via Travis Hallenbeck:

I was really pleased to find an old essay by Sylvere Lothringer which explained how they wanted people to use Semiotexte books for speculative acceleration. Instead, people started using these text to prove their moral superiority, saying "You are wrong, you have misunderstood Foucault." They used theory for prestige, to block speculation. That is why so many artists used to resent theory. You would get these lame pieces, somebody trying to apply Heidegger to Parliament-Funkadelic because they had seen the word "ontology" on a cover, instead of taking Parliament to read Heidegger. They always did it the other way round. Theory wasn't being used to pluralize, to see that there was theory everywhere you looked, and everywhere you listened.

When painters paint, they are theorizing immanently in the field of paint. Sonically, when you compose, you are theorizing tonally. That was a key breakthrough. When I wrote my book it did not have to be historical. It could be a sonology of history, it did not have to be contextualization of sound. It could be an audio-social analysis of particular vectors. Sound could become the generative principle, could be cosmo-genetic, generate its own life forms, its own worldview, its own world audition. That's still the key break between my book and most cultural studies analyses. They still have not understood that sonology is generative in and of itself. Like every field is. Every material force can generate its own form.