“What true project has been lost?”: Towards a social ontology of improvised sound work.

Russell, B 2016, “What true project has been lost?”: Towards a social ontology of improvised sound work., Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Art, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title “What true project has been lost?”: Towards a social ontology of improvised sound work.
Author(s) Russell, B
Year 2016
Abstract In my research towards this degree I have tried to understand both the determining characteristics and the social value of the “mis-competent improvised sound work” (ISW) which I have developed. The originality of my contribution lies not only in my practical work, but also in my work towards a new theory of improvisation. The theoretical work avoids relying on ethno-musicological genealogies of technique, and instead focuses on a close analysis of the experience of improvisation framed within a context of social and political theory. This theoretical framework has arisen from my own reflections on practice, both instrumental and technical, and is integral to the way my artistic work has been performed in society.

I have sought to explain my own predilection for obsolete technologies, and why these have such widespread appeal; as well as why so many other artists coming from underground rock music are adopting this improvisational freedom. One of the key virtues of this practice is in its insistent foregrounding of its own (inevitable) failure to attain the ‘authenticity’ towards which it nevertheless strives: the project of recovering ‘true communication’ in a social space for autonomous self-expression. This I argue represents a Kraussian ‘reinvention of the medium’ (Krauss, 1999, p.296). Its value lies in the subjective experience of the work within this resolutely un-recuperated ‘field of restricted practice’.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Art
Subjects Social Philosophy
Cultural Theory
Performing Arts and Creative Writing not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Situationist
Critical theory
Improvisation
Benjamin
Debord
Bourdieu
Sound art
Sound
Dérive
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Created: Thu, 28 Jul 2016, 16:36:39 EST by Keely Chapman
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