Sonic recipes from a public kitchen: participatory Feminist performance art
AuthorEspana Keller, Juliana
AffiliationVictorian College of the Arts
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2019 Juliana Espana Keller
This research proposes to explore and transform the kitchen as a sonic performative work and public site for art and social practice. A Public Kitchen is formed by recreating the private and domestic space of a kitchen into a public space through a sonic performance artwork as a series of creative propositions. The kitchen table is a platform for exploring, repositioning and amplifying kitchen tools through electronic and manual manipulation. In my research practice, this platform becomes a collaborative social space, where I investigate the somatic movement and sensory, sonic power of the repositioned kitchen tools. Through engaging the participants in deep listening methods for sonic awareness and in feminist participatory practices, I form a relational, resonant and communicative site, where new sonic techniques of existence are created and experiences shared. This thesis is built on a relational architecture of iterative sound performances that position the art historical, the sociopolitical, transforming disciplinary interpretations of the body and technology as something that is not specifically exclusively human but post-human. The thesis speaks through a creative practice that unfolds as a sharing of experiences through these propositions. I am also channeling the intra-personal; through the entanglement of my own personal cultural experience and diverse background, where language, meaning and subjectivity is relational to what it means to be human and to what is felt from the social, what has informed me from a multi-cultural nomadic existence and perspective. Through the medium of sound, I am investigating, emphasizing entities, ethics, social class and social political intervention in the process. This subjectivity illuminates how we move through the world, react to surroundings and respond to everything. It also proposes how the normative and hierarchical relations amongst human groups based on race, sexuality, social class and ability are always intimately entangled with the broader political economies/ecologies of which we are a part. The performance work establishes a scaffold for thinking about a range of ideas of what is felt through encounters with philosophy, sonic arts, feminist thought. It highlights labored bodies entangled with posthuman contingencies of food preparation, family and social history, ritual, tradition, social geography, local politics and women’s oppression. The human and non-human relation to machines and machine learning is enacted through intra-active entanglement; it represents an active pedagogy practice for organising and responding collectively to, the local. A noisy kitchen is felt as a musical sounding in the everyday rhythm of lived intensities. Agency is conjured through the doing-cooking of the kitchen to create a sonic recipe as the becoming of the human-machine relationship to uncover the paradigms that shape-shift performance, cross-fertilizing with technology and futurities of social robotics by finding ways forward in untangling the discourse surrounding robotic machines, humanoids and AI. This thesis focuses on an unpacking of a creative practice where resonating with agency and amplifying where the experiential is intensely experienced. A Public Kitchen is embedded in socio-cultural research where the artwork allows for human slippages, failures that form part of the work. A sonic recipe is a creative act that actively works as a strategy to cut across pre-established dichotomies and transverse hierarchies of power relations that organize diverse forms of life. In particular, it considers how feminist new materialism can be “put to work”, creating daring dissonant narratives that feed posthuman ethical practices and feminist genealogies. This research reveals what matters—a feminist struggle invaluable in highlighting and responding collectively to the local with a systemic understanding material phenomena in an immersive sonic performative installation. This research practice proposes to ignite and transform our social imagination and deactivate pervasive and dominating patriarchal ethico-politics.
Keywordssound and noise art; performance art practices; feminist new materialism; deep listening; posthumanism; posthuman knowledge; social practice; social engagement; participatory practices
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