Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Connor Richards: Demonstrating Politics Through Music – Daily Utah Chronicle, November 17, 2017


The tradition of using music to make social commentary is being kept alive by American post-metal band ISIS. Post-metal, as a genre, is described by ISIS frontman and lyricist Aaron Turner as being a “thinking man’s metal.”

The 2004 album Panopticon draws heavily on the works of English philosopher Jeremy Bentham and French sociologist Michel Foucault to comment on the prevalence of surveillance in modern society.

Working off Foucault’s idea that surveillance turns humans into objects of observation rather than subjects of communication, Panopticon offers a gloomy take on “life reduced to ticks” through government surveillance and invasions of privacy. This is seen in the song “Backlit.” “Always object, never subject. Can you see us? Are we there? … Always upon you, light never ceases. … Thousands of eyes, gaze never ceases.”

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