Bite Size Theory: Genealogy as Critique

“It turns out that we live in a world in which it is indeed quite easy to recognize the contingency of the self. But it is quite another thing, and a very difficult one at that, to engage in the loving labor of reworking the contingencies that we have become.”

Colin Koopman, 2013, Genealogy as Critique: Foucault and the Problems of Modernity, Indiana University Press.

Bite Size Theory: The One by Whom Scandal Comes

“What characterizes human conflict is not the loss of reciprocity but the transition, imperceptible at first but then ever more rapid, from good to bad reciprocity”.

René Girard, 2014, The One by Whom Scandal Comes, Michigan State University Press.

Bite Size Theory: Is It My Body?

“For me, music is much more of an area where ritual can happen, which is completely different from how I think about art making. It’s something that I don’t think successfully exists anymore. Music is very much about the spatial situation, and the body, and how the body affects sound, and movement affects sound, and how the audience is a willing partner in making it all come together. By agreeing to enter the space, the audience is almost confirming that what you’re doing is music, or at least that it’s a performance. It wouldn’t be the same without the audience.

Kim Gordon, 2014, Is It My Body? Selected Texts, Sternberg Press.

Bite Size Theory: Let’s Talk About Love

“In daily life music is usually part of other activities, from dancing to housework to sex to gossip to dinner. In critical discourse it’s as if the only action going on when music is playing is the activity of evaluating music. The question becomes, “Is this good music to listen to while you’re making aesthetic judgments?” Which may explain what makes some bands critics’ darlings: Sonic Youth, for instance, is not great music to dance to, but it’s a terrific soundtrack for making aesthetic judgments”.

Carl Wilson, 2007, Let’s Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste, Bloomsbury.


Bite Size Theory: A Companion to Marx’s Capital, Volume 2

“It has also been a mainstay of my own argument that the absorption of surplus-value and of surplus product through the production of space in general and urbanization in particular has been crucial to sustaining capital accumulation.”

David Harvey, 2013, A Companion to Marx’s Capital, Volume 2, Verso.

Bite Size Theory: Government of Paper

“…. if you want to understand bureaucratic activities, follow the paper…”

Matthew Hull, 2011, Government of Paper: The Materiality of Bureaucracy in Urban Pakistan, University of California Press.

See also the book symposium in Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory.