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Tag Archives: Ecotheory

Black Metal Theory

Black Metal Theory


Organized by Daniel Lukes (USA) and Michael O’Rourke (IRE)

Dublin, Friday 20 March 2015 (venue tba)

Coloring the Black will be a one-day symposium on Black Metal Theory to be held in Dublin on Friday 20th March, 2015.  It will be the latest in a very successful series of events which have focused on black metal music, contemporary theory, philosophy, art, aesthetics, and music. The symposium has three primary aims: firstly, to challenge the potentially ponderous and serious nature of black metal theory, secondly, to question the black/white binary which dominates theorizing about black metal music and aesthetics, and thirdly, to foreground diverse, marginal, and intersectional black metal voices, readings, and practices.

It is our sense that Black Metal Theory runs the risk of taking itself far too seriously with the unfortunate result of taking the fun out of talking and thinking about black metal. More worryingly, it may end up establishing a KVLT BMT which would police or limit the potentialities of Black Metal Theory. In response to this we wish to open up the more comedic, playful, camp, ludic, carnivalesque dimension of black metal and black metal theory. In so doing, we set out to “pink” black metal by questioning its more nihilistic impulses (“blackening” and more “blackening”) in favour of more affirmative approaches and utilizations of BMT.

In “pinking” black metal/theory (and we are thinking here of critical and ironic BM-related gestures such as The Soft Pink Truth, Pinkish Black, Zweizz, Deafheaven, not to mention the influence of My Bloody Valentine and “pink noise” on shoegaze, post, or “hipster” black metal) we also hope to queer it by decentering the cisheteronormative and patriarchal underpinnings of both the black metal music and philosophy scenes. We wish to further BMT from a range of feminist, LGBTQ, and intersectional perspectives, including disability studies, crip theory, animal studies, and cute studies. Our interest in a more rainbow approach to black metal would also seek to consider and destabilize the racial normativities of black metal musical and theoretical traditions.

Our second sense is that there has been an almost exclusive attention to black or to black and white (in readings of corpsepaint, or noise for example) which has the effect of instantiating a binary which even a focus on “green” black metal has done little to disturb. In our coloring of the black we wish to open up Black Metal Theory to a broader spectrum beyond the black, a more prismatic and multicoloured BMT. Inspired by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen’s recent collection of essays Prismatic Ecology: Ecotheory Beyond Green (which includes essays by two contributors to black metal theoretical discourse in Ben Woodard and Timothy Morton) we hope to widen out the color spectrum of BMT to red, blue, pink, orange, green, gold, brown, violet, ultraviolet, grey and others.

Coloring the Black will bring theorists, philosophers, artists, musicians, and aestheticians together to have a black metal party.

Michael O’Rourke at Academia:


‘Human Herbs’ – a song by Cold Hands & Quarter Moon:

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Black Metal Theory

Black Metal Theory