The Monday Media Diet with Guillaume Heuguet
On natural wine apps, Sarah Schulman, and Boomkat
After the data-deep dive that we published at the end of the year, we were prompted to bring more of our international friends front and center with MMD. Today, we have the Paris-based Guillaume Heuguet (GH), who is a DJ, a writer, label owner, and an academic. He’s got some incredible recommendations in here. Have a great week. -Colin (CJN)
Tell us about yourself.
I am 34 years old, I live in Paris. I started as a DJ and music journalist about 17 years ago. I founded a music label, In Paradisum, that allowed me to do a lot of things ; artistic direction, touring, events, record production. It turned into an artist co-op. I did a PhD on how music changes technologies based on my analysis of YouTube (the book version will be published by Bloomsbury in a few months) and shifted to researching and teaching media studies for a few years after. I started a journal of critical essays about music, and then got sucked into social movements for a while. I now split my time between editing books and teaching art and theory at Les Beaux Arts (ESACM) in Clermont Ferrand, which I enjoy very much. I am also in the process of figuring out a more balanced life that's not 100% dedicated to these things.
Describe your media diet.
I’m always looking for interesting long-form essays, especially on the critical left-political side of things. I am especially interested when they bring a focus on lived experience or culture. I read for myself but I am also looking to see what I should translate into French or what could spark commissions for the three journals that I edit (Tèque, on technology, Audimat, on music, and Habitante, on spaces/materials/ecology).
I follow a lot of researchers and passionate people on social media, I use Feedly, newsletters, public and research libraries, specialized bookstores, and a bit of everything.
On the technology front, I have been reading Logic Magazine who do an amazing job, Real Life (RIP), The Verge, Rest of world…
For French political thinking, I read french-speaking online magazines: Mediapart, Le Vent Se Lève, Street Press, Lundi Matin, Contretemps, Trou Noir. There is a whole scene of blogs, podcasts, and journals from the radical left that will translate each other's articles, such as Liaisons, DNDF (FR), Hic Salta, Sortir du capitalisme (FR), Endnotes… I find following these conversations exciting, it reminds me of the peak music blog era even if it’s probably not that big.
To keep up with social struggles I also look at Autonomie de classe (class autonomy), Agitations, Contre Attaque, agendamilitant.org (FR), among others. I will sometimes glance at Twitch/YT channels like Paroles d'honneur – who have an antiracist / anticolonial focus – and Dany & Raz – who translate the leftist's feuds into entertainment, which fascinates and sickens me at the same time.
For US and international politics, I mostly read The Atlantic and The New Inquiry, and my wife feeds me with think pieces on a daily basis.
For cinema, I read mostly Debordements (FR).
For music, different smaller blogs/online journals such as Humanizing the Vacuum, Becoming, Passion of the weiss, Narrowcast, blissblog (Simon Reynold's blog), Technomaterialism, but most of all, the daily music blog Musique Journal by the same pool of writers that contribute to Audimat. They have an impressive array of interests and always exciting takes on them.
I listen to Lyl and Olga Radio which are NTS-type web radios and The Love Is The Message podcast by Jeremy Gilbert and Tim Lawrence. I also regularly check newsletters from record shops (Boomkat, Stranded, Low Company) and some zines (Fond de caisse (FR) about the DIY French scene and the feminist Ventoline (FR).
I am also closely watching different newsletters from booksellers – After8, Presses du réel (FR).
I will also read Cabinet because of my interest in Sound studies and Mouvement magazine (FR) which has some of the best cultural reporting (and maybe reporting period?) in France, The Libération culture newsletter (FR), Panthere Premiere (FR), a feminist journal which has probably the best angles and editing...
Since I joined the "art community" I have been diving into this area a little more, through the Hyperallergic newsletter for the NY scene, and checking Texte zur Kunst, Frieze, E-Flux, TANK, and more recently New Left Review's Sidecar blog.
What’s the last great book you read?
Sarah Schulman's The gentrification of the mind, about NYC, aids and the politics of the art world, and our forthcoming book by Rhoda Tchokokam, Sensibles - A history of French R&B (FR).
What are you reading now?
I just finished Larissa Mann's Rude Citizenship Jamaican Popular Music, Copyright, and the Reverberations of Colonial Power, and I am reading Jonathan Sadowsky's The empire of depression.
What’s your reading strategy when you pick up a print copy of your favorite publication?
Grab coffee, find a quiet space – headphones if necessary – and forget the rest.
Who should everyone be reading that they’re not?
bell hooks's From Margin to Center (she's famous but did people really read what she had to say?), Katherine Angel, Elen Willis... Elsa Dorlin just got translated to English, so that too. I recently read Asad Haider's Mistaken identity and the contrast with our situation in France was fascinating: in France, the media has a hard time acknowledging experiences of sexism and racism while I am under the impression it is the reverse issue in the US: often class relationships seem to be missing (or reduced to the theme of “privilege”). Haider does a nice job to reclaim the history of working-class solidarity in antiracist struggles.
What is the best non-famous app you love on your phone?
Raisin, an app to locate French natural wine, that's probably the only non-utilitarian app that I have on my phone.
Plane or train?
Train, they are a big part of my life as I have to take them every other week to go teach. Although, Macron is fucking up our trains by making them more expensive, closing train lines, and instead investing in more controls against train fraud.
What is one place everyone should visit?
Your local public library.
Tell us the story of a rabbit hole you fell deep into.
What started as translating and editing works by Ellen Willis with my friend Fanny Quément led to obsessively buying secondhand books of and about Eric Fromm, Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Marcuse, etc., and trying to figure out if our society is the product of the repression of desire or our being forced into lust. Anyway, I’m still in the rabbit hole. (GH)
We are experimenting with running some weekly classifieds in WITI. If you’re interested in running an ad, you can purchase one through this form. If you buy this week, we’ll throw an extra week in for free on any ad. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop a line.
Noah here. I've got a new newsletter about brands and AI called BrXnd Dispatch. If you're in marketing, creative, or just interested in understanding what's up with AI, check it out. Subscribe to BrXnd Dispatch
The Intermodal Spirit. Writing about Exploring, Relating, and Being. Available by newsletter or online. Subscribe here.
Daly is a comms+ agency that reaches beyond the standard PR playbook to deliver results (and some magic) for our exceptional clients. Check us out
For 10 years, this has been the go-to newsletter for people who like to keep up with what’s exciting in design, books, beauty, food, & more. Subscribe
Great questions leading to great answers!!