An Ethical “Act” in the Real: A Brief Meditation to Close

  • Jan Jagodzinski


Throughout this selective journey of the 1990s decade leading up to contemporary times, I have attempted to develop aspects of the post-Oedipal musical “noise,” which I felt best exemplified stances that challenged the authority of the Law. I chose more-or-less well-known bands and singers who, by adopting perverse and hysterical psychic structures, worked through the turmoil of identity in relation to the social order. In addition I also identified music marketing strategies that recuperate and centralize authority through globally manufactured pop forms. One could theorize this tension as an inherent “social antagonism” in the Real, which sees musical noise as the limit to the harmonious functioning of the social order, or as the “pollution” that must be rid of to insure that the social order functions harmoniously. Religious moral advocates who believe that such devil’s music needs to be eradicated, restoring harmony and peace, most often take the second stance. However, by doing so they effectively make society come into “existence” by closing it off, evoking totalitarian tendencies. The first stance keeps the social order as an “open system,” always lacking, locating precisely where an “ethics of the Real” is staged. Paradoxically, in this sense “society does not exist.” It’s lack (as an inherent failure, as impossibility) and not its removal is what guarantees the existence of a community.


Symbolic Order Death Drive Musical Noise Unconscious Desire Music Scene 
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© Jan Jagodzinski 2005

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  • Jan Jagodzinski

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