AN INFINITE EXPERIMENTAL LABORATORY
Last night, after a day full of discussions with my students at the Institute for Popular Music, I had almost fallen asleep when in this strange interphase of states one last memory sequence stole into my mind. I was suddenly in the year 1988 at a street corner in Washington, D.C. Back then on my first trip through the US one block away from the White House I accidentally met a guy whom I had known from hardcore and punk rock shows in Stuttgart. He was grimly peering towards that house where Ronald Reagan lived back then and was listening, suitable for the moment and his position, to Minor Threat and other Dischord bands (Reagan Youth would have been even more fitting). Admittedly a very introverted kind of protest of the circumstances – but, as it is still resonating in my 29 years later, nonetheless a lasting one.
I don’t really have draw on Freud to know why this memory is coming up right now. Nothing has been more present in our everyday life in the last days than the political ambient noise. Ever since Brexit and Trump’s election even those who have always seen their cultural engagement as separate from something like every day politics feel compelled to position themselves.