Paul Hegarty, ‘Peter Gabriel: Technologies of the Self, Technologies of the Global’
In 2016, Peter Gabriel contributed ‘The Veil’, the title music to Oliver Stone’s Snowden. Whistleblower Snowden brought together many of Gabriel’s interests that have appeared over a 40 year solo career: security, rebellion, technology, altering states of mind, power, oppression, and maybe above all, the increasing meshing of individual with technology and life on a global scale. This disappointing tune does not tell us enough of Gabriel’s critical embrace of technologized living, but it is a good marker, one that will draw us in to his paranoid Darkness album of 2002, his epic stage show in the absurd Millennium Dome in London in 1999, and lead us back into forays into musings on modern urbanism in his days in progressive band Genesis and also his exploration of borders, borderlines, transgressions and anomie in the late 1970s and 1980s. In this talk I will bring these elements together to argue that Gabriel has acted as a genuine theorist of contemporary globalization, its effects and localizations. By way of a spoiler, I will identify his theorized practice as one of dislocation.
Paul Hegarty is professor in the Department of French, University College Cork. He has written widely on sound, music, culture, art theory, and contemporary theory, with a focus on noise in theory and practice. His book Peter Gabriel: Global Citizen is due out on Reaktion/Chicago in spring 2018, closely followed by his book with Sarah Hayden on German minimalist Peter Roehr (Peter Roehr: Field Pulsations, Daimler/Snoek). He also performs in experimental groups such as Safe, Maginot, PCP-The Phil Collins Project and Power Acoustics.