Smoke and Mirrors – Society of Musical Esotericism, Interviewed

One of Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze’s lesser-known contributions to political theory is the distinction-collapsing notion of the war-machine. Free of the forms of “overcoding” and “machinic enslavement” associated with internal, isolated nation-state relations, war-machines are organizations (which may or may not be subsumed by the state) which engage in ritualistic, non-lethal warfare for the purpose of a non-paradigmatic, non-hierarchical method of social control, free of the semiotic hegemony of the state. I’ve heard the language of the war-machine used in describing the Phoenix DIY music scene, but that’s never how I’ve seen it. Phoenix is cliquey, but the cliques serve a syndicalist role, as subsets of the whole work together to make it fun for the rest. It’s not unusual to see people with wholly different creative interests coming together and making friends with one another at an event. This is, for the most part, why the Phoenix scene is so good.

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