French Philosopher Jean Baudrillard Reads His Poetry, Backed By All-Star Arts Band (1996)


Image by Euro­pean Grad­u­ate School, via Wiki­me­dia Com­mons

French post-struc­tural­ist philosopher/sociologist Jean Bau­drillard—usu­al­ly iden­ti­fied with his post­mod­ern the­o­ries of sim­u­lacra—is a lit­tle bit of a fringe fig­ure in pop cul­ture. Known to hip aca­d­e­m­ic types and avant-garde-ists, he’s maybe the kind of thinker who gets name-dropped more than read (and he’s no easy read).

But in the audio clip above, Bau­drillard reads to us, from his poet­ry no less, while backed by the swirling abstract sounds of The Chance Band, an all art-star ensem­ble fea­tur­ing Tom Wat­son (of The Miss­ing­men), George Hur­ley (of The Min­ute­men and fIRE­HOSE), Lynn John­ston, Dave Muller, Amy Stoll, and guest vocal­ist, the­o­rist Alluc­quère Rosanne (“Sandy”) Stone. It’s an odd, one-time, assem­blage of artists and thinkers UbuWeb describes as “unbe­liev­able but true!”:

Record­ed live as part of the Chance Fes­ti­val at Whiskey Pete’s Casi­no in State­line Neva­da, 1996. You’ve nev­er heard Bau­drillard like this before! Music to read Niet­zsche to.

Indeed. The track above is num­ber two on a twelve-track album called Sui­cide Moi, released in 2002 by Com­pound Annex Records. You can buy the CD here or stream and down­load indi­vid­ual tracks for free on UbuWeb.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Avant-Garde Media: The UbuWeb Col­lec­tion

Der­ri­da: A 2002 Doc­u­men­tary on the Abstract Philoso­pher and the Every­day Man

Josh Jones is a writer, edi­tor, and musi­cian based in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Fol­low him @jdmagness

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