I'm looking forward to presenting my paper, "Plurality in Experimental Music: Appropriation and Philosophical Hermeneutics" this next Friday, the 12th of August. The 11th International Conference on The Arts in Society is being held right here in my own backyard at UCLA. Here's my paper's abstract:
The appropriation of musical practices, inequality of representation, and erasure of multicultural influences in experimental music practices are important topics in critical improvisation studies. A growing body of critical work shows instances of appropriation between experimental subjectivities have produced inequities of power and representation in the field of cultural production. A focus on music’s sociocultural function, though, may be complicit in dissembling music’s first-order significance: its capacity to broaden listeners’ world views and federate social structures. This paper offers a model of aesthetic experience from philosophical hermeneutics that casts encounters with music as pre-reflexive, pre-political ontological disclosure; experiences that can reshape social reality by transcending it from within. In this sense it is a process that offers opportunities to mediate socially-deleterious appropriation in a manner encouraging plurality. A theoretical position informed by philosophical hermeneutics offers a model for how the nature of appropriation—as a broadening of a subject’s horizon of understanding—may be understood as a tool to aid in critique and in practices that respond productively to the need for respect and plurality in experimental music communities. I support this schema with examples gleaned from ethnographic work at an experimental music venue in downtown Los Angeles.
Interestingly, this marks the first time that my wife and I will present at the same conference, as she'll be presenting her paper, "The Threat of Placeless Spaces: Places and Non-Places in John Boorman's 'Point Blank' (1967." We'll be taking over humanities departments soon. Look out.