Monday, 26 October 2015


The Bike Cemetery in Winter 2012

 My podcast, Return to the Bike Cemetery, is now available on
 there's some other very good stuff on there too, including a talk from a historian of smell, an ethnomusicological discussion of the music of the BayAka people, and a discussion of  manifestations of economic thought in cultural products. It's a very pleasingly heterogenous collection.

My piece is the first in a projected series of three programmes that will take different levels of interpretation (or degrees of generality) and angles towards the Bike Cemetery. They will all be equally preoccupied with sound, though; how it can evoke a space, or series of them, how it can internally dislocate a space (especially when broadcast to somewhere else), and its temporality - that is, its passing, which is of course the precondition of its stubborn or uncanny return (say, in the use of delay).

A rough outline might go: Bike Cemetery - empty space (as in Claude Lefort's image) - sovereignty of subject (bourgeois liberal democratic) - sovereignty (as in Karl Schmitt's version of decision) - exception and example, and the spatial relationship that both categories necessitate - Bike Cemetery - waste ground - "waste" in terms of time - metaphors of "natural" growth/accumulation - the responsibilized subject - "unnatural" growth/stasis - the welfare state and its characterisation by the likes of Charles Murray - "addiction" as trope, to benefits or (for the state) to debt - addiction as perpetual return (to same place) therefore antithesis of neoliberal models of growth or statehood - the stuttering, repetitive inscriptions at the Bike Cemetery.

I realise that the outline just given might seem confused, fragmentary and a bit dry, but I am going to do my best to make it a coherent trip through some contemporary obsessions. I think that the audio essay form can do this well.