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Grimes says more stuff about live music & Zola Jesus’ “silicon fascism” comments

grimes
Grimes (photo by Eli Russell Linnetz)

In case you missed it, Grimes said “live music is going to be obsolete soon” and “once there’s actually AGI (Artificial General Intelligence), they’re gonna be so much better at making art than us” on Sean Carroll’s Mindscape podcast, and lots of people are mad, including fellow musicians Zola Jesus and (past Grimes collaborator) Devon Welsh (Majical Cloudz), who took to Twitter to call Grimes “the voice of silicon fascist privilege” and refer to her comments as “silicon valley fascist propaganda.”

Grimes has now responded with a series of tweets. They read:

1/ I agree w ZJ- let’s not call this a girl fight. She’s making hella interesting points here. Let’s go in!

2/ technology has always changed the way we make/ consume music and it’s not going to stop here. Where could it go and what are the potential positive outcomes? We can’t prevent bad outcomes if we don’t start envisioning good outcomes.

3/ technology is democratizing music! Ppl r making stunning art on laptops with no music education. more people making music = more art in the world = net positive. I’d argue we’re in the midst of an incredible creative explosion largely driven by accessible music technologies.

4/ Not all art will be good but that’s what art is. What matters is that people are experimenting.

5/ and that goes for performance aspect of music. Theres no question that a live human performer is one of the most moving things we can experience (I’ve been to hundreds if not thousands of live shows).

6/ But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t engage in thought experiments of what could happen in the future.

7/ to clear things up, I am entirely supported by the business I run.
The vast majority of my income comes from tour and it’s been a challenge being off the road.

8/ but I love thinking about the future and curious about how new technologies that can reduce the environmental cost of touring, for example.

9/ the term obsolete is prob p aggressive, I was just riffing.

excited to hear back from you @ZOLAJESUS <3 curious if others have opinions. Cc @seanmcarroll ?

At the end, she added, “I would like clarity on the use of the term fascist tho haha.”

After Zola Jesus posted her initial tweet, she further explained: “i don’t fault someone for being out of touch, but approaching the future of music and art with so much cynicism can only come from someone who really has nothing to lose,” and later added,” her new song is really beautiful. artists are complicated people. but danger comes from unchecked wealth and power.”

She also elaborated on silicon fascism: “silicon fascism to me is the neoliberal tech takeover by privileged individuals, creating miniature oligarchic kingdoms of power that will inevitably control once-democratized systems. run on sentence eat your heart out.”

Devon Welsh had said, “Silicon-fascism is real, and has a vested interest in framing technological domination as the “natural progression” of things. It isn’t, and I think most of us are not interested in being owned by unelected Silicon Valley kings. Live music is spiritually important. We need it.”

Here are Grimes, Zola Jesus, and Devon Welsh’s tweets…

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