Seminar | Music and Body: tradition & transgression freeing the self through EDM festivals
30.11.2021 | 16:00-18:00 | NOVA FCSH | Room B 201
Sound, Movement, and Technology: Whither the Body in Curatorial Performance?
This research is part of a larger attempt to articulate an interdisciplinary theoretical framework for understanding the practice of the DJ in popular music as a form of curatorial performance. The project builds on existing research in the fields of art and performance studies that treats artistic curation as performative; such work generally treats the museum exhibit, for example, not only as an archive of important works but also as a live performance in itself, in which both curator and audience participate in the creation of meaning. This work diverges from that research in treating live embodied performance as curatorial: I am investigating various ways in which DJ performances are themselves acts of curation that contain the elements of collection, selection, narration, and exhibition. This portion of the project investigates the complicated role of embodiment in curatorial performance. Performance scholars in various disciplines (Theatre, Art, Literature, and Communication Studies) have always emphasized the centrality of the human body in activities analyzed as performance, and the mediation of physical performance with technology has always raised theoretical challenges (and even radical ambivalence). This question is explored here through examination of two examples of these challenges: (1) longstanding scholarly forays into DJ technologies from vinyl records to digital files; (2) recent scholarly interest in digital streaming (which has emerged as a trend in the wake of the global pandemic). Methodologically, my engagement with these challenges is part autoethnographic, part phenomenological, and part interpretive. My goal in reexamining this work is to identify the ways in which the body finds meaning in curatorial performance through physical and psychical interaction that is not itself fixed in space or time.
- Attias, Bernardo (2013). DJ Culture in the Mix: Power, Technology, and Social Change in Electronic Dance Music. Co-edited with Anna Gavanas and Hillegonda C. Rietveld. Sole author of Chapter 2, "Subjectivity in the Groove: Phonography, Digitality, and Fidelity." New York and London: Bloomsbury.
Bernardo Attias is a Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at CSUN since 1994. He was Chair of the Department from 2007-2014. He received a Ph.D. in Communication Studies with a Rhetorical Studies emphasis from the University of Iowa (1997), and he has a B.S. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University's School of Speech. Before coming to CSUN, Attias was a Visiting Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Communication at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The emphasis of his work is on the political economy of mass mediated events. He has written on media coverage of the war in the Gulf, on the politics of psychoanalysis, on the rhetoric and politics of hip-hop culture, and on the drug war. His teaching experience is vast. At CSUN he has taught 23 different courses. He sees education as an ongoing process of intellectual development, and the teacher as a guide to that process. His teaching philosophy, which stresses interactivity and critical thinking skills, reflects a strong commitment to the educational process. He develops unique and challenging course materials and has been at the forefront of the move to integrate new technological resources into the educational process. An accomplished DJ, poet, and artist, bringing his creative energy and interests into his scholarship and pedagogy, Attias maintains a number of sites on the web that reflect his teaching and research interests as well as his political and artistic activity. Such sites include a rhetorical history of the drug war, a database of information about CIA involvement in the drug trade, an analysis of "consent" issues in sex crimes law, and sites devoted to French philosophers Michel Foucault and Jean Baudrillard.
Alexandra Urbano, PhD student at NOVA FCSH, received a master's degree from the same school about the use of music in the Portuguese Colonial War in Cabinda, Angola (1970-74) under the guidance of Maria de São José Côrte-Real. She is a DJ and producer of psychedelic trance. She also has BA degrees in piano and music therapy. Currently she works on her PhD on psychedelic trance, studying terminological aspects to understand relations between audible characteristics of melodic and rhythmic samples of psychedelic trance and fandom dynamics, involving fan behavior in different parts of the world through a collaborative ethnography developed in festivals in India, Israel, Brazil, Mexico, USA, Europe, South Africa and Australia, where she performs as a Psytrance DJ.