Managing multiple embodiments in the life drawing class
-standing practitioners of their chosen art or craft, or as curious newcomers (e.g. Banfield, 2016 ; Paton, 2013 ; Thomas, 2014 ).
In this chapter I consider how auto-ethnography, as a state of ‘reflexive-thinking-being’, employed here within a space of artistic activity (life drawing classes), has enabled me to explore geographies of bodies, nudity, sexuality and intimacy by moving – physically, conceptually and recursively – between moments of the mundane (engaging in my hobby) to instances of the spectacular (such as seeing my body featured in artists’ work). As a life
Translations is a personal history written at the intersection of colonial anthropology, creative practice and migrant ethnography. Renowned postcolonial scholar, public artist and radio maker, UK-born Paul Carter documents and discusses a prodigiously varied and original trajectory of writing, sound installation and public space dramaturgy produced in Australia to present the phenomenon of contemporary migration in an entirely new light. Rejecting linear conceptualisations of migrant space–time, Carter describes a distinctively migrant psychic topology, turbulent, vortical and opportunistic. He shows that the experience of self-becoming at that place mediated through a creative practice that places the enigma of communication at the heart of its praxis produces a coherent critique of colonial regimes still dominant in discourses of belonging. One expression of this is a radical reappraisal of the ‘mirror state’ relationship between England and Australia, whose structurally symmetrical histories of land theft and internal colonisation repress the appearance of new subjects and subject relations. Another is to embrace the precarity of the stranger–host relationship shaping migrant destiny, to break down art’s aesthetic conventions and elide creative practice with the poetics (and politics) of social production – what Carter calls ‘dirty art’. Carter tackles the argument that immigrants to Australia recapitulate the original invasion. Reflecting on collaborations with Aboriginal artists, he frames an argument for navigating incommensurable realities that profoundly reframes the discourse on sovereignty. Translations is a passionately eloquent argument for reframing borders as crossing-places: framing less murderous exchange rates, symbolic literacy, creative courage and, above all, the emergence of a resilient migrant poetics will be essential.
least to the apical
ancestor of Gabonese fieldworkers, Paul Du Chaillu (1861), who
published his Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial
Africa in both English and French; almost all subsequent
fieldworkers have had to contend with Du Chaillu’s legacy.
Fang exceptionalism has continued to inform twentieth-century Fang
ethnography and auto-ethnography. In order to trace
Toxic Grafity’s punk epiphany as subjectivity (re)storying ‘the
truth of revolution’ across the lifespan
re-evocation of his punk subjectivity across the decades allowed him to restory tragedy and trauma; in this lay
the cure for Mental Mike’s Madness.
My intention above has been to write a ‘poststructuralist autoethnography’
to explore how a ‘punk subjectivity’ has endured, sometimes subliminally,
sometimes epiphanically across my lifespan, influencing my social and political
agency and my action-in-the-world in a range of contexts which are
Toxic Grafity’s punk epiphany
very different to the original ‘anarcho-punk’ context of Toxic and its wider
The rendering of the ‘Muslim’ is crucial to the narrative of the War on
Terror. In this chapter, Yassir Morisi explores through an auto-ethnography
the relationship between Muslim and ‘Muslim’. The latter figure, in scare
quotes, is for Brian Klug a figment, a fantasy and a myth. It represents the
Orientalist tale of a callous Other of mindless worship and violence. But
how, in the War on Terror narrative, can we separate the two figures easily
and how can Muslims refuse to speak in response to the ‘Muslim’? How when
everyday Muslims are caught in what Edward Said calls the dehumanising ‘web
of racism’; a matrix of language holding in everyday Muslims; a nexus of
knowledge and power creating the ‘Muslim’ and simultaneously obliterating
the Muslim’s voice? Furthermore, despite being the focal point of racialised
discussions about Islam, the threatening ‘Muslim’ is always deferred and is
spectral in nature, befitting a post-racial colour blindness. Much like the
figure of the ghost, its dual presence and absence protects the War on
Terror narrative from charges of racism, and hence, shaped by the political
forces of the War on Terror, Morsi contends that the Muslim becomes a
complex (im)possible (suspended) subject in a post-9/11 world where
(self-)knowledge remains tentative, contingent and situated within a
discussion about the threatening status of our Otherness.
Radical otherness: voiceover,
Our voices say something about us. To express ourselves, we speak, yell, cry,
whisper, sing, murmur, scream, and otherwise vocalize; usually to someone
like ourselves – another human – or to more than one person. Sometimes, we
vocalize to other living beings, as well as to machines. In Keywords for Sound,
anthropologist Amanda Wiedman identifies two powerful ideas from the
Western metaphysical and linguistic traditions about voice: one is voice as an
expression of subjecthood, ‘from which springs the
began to reflect upon the process of ‘becoming’ (or trying to become)
in which I was engaged.
The book is what I have termed an (auto)ethnography. Using what Wacquant
calls ‘observant participation’ (2004: 6), and alongside conventional ethnographic
observation and interview methods, I deployed my own body ‘as a tool of inquiry
and a vector of knowledge’ (Wacquant 2004: viii; Bunsell 2013). This enabled me
to access sensory and embodied aspects of a protracted apprenticeship that would
be inaccessible through interviews and observation alone and at
There is no soundtrack is a specific yet expansive study of sound tactics deployed in experimental media art today. It analyses how audio and visual elements interact and produce meaning, drawing from works by contemporary media artists ranging from Chantal Akerman, to Nam June Paik, to Tanya Tagaq. It then links these analyses to discussions on silence, voice, noise, listening, the soundscape, and other key ideas in sound studies. In making these connections, the book argues that experimental media art – avant-garde film, video art, performance, installation, and hybrid forms – produces radical and new audio-visual relationships that challenge and destabilize the visually-dominated fields of art history, contemporary art criticism, cinema and media studies, and cultural studies as well as the larger area of the human sciences. This book directly addresses what sound studies scholar Jonathan Sterne calls ‘visual hegemony’. It joins a growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship that is collectively sonifying the study of culture while defying the lack of diversity within the field by focusing on practitioners from transnational and diverse backgrounds. Therefore, the media artists discussed in this book are of interest to scholars and students who are exploring aurality in related disciplines including gender and feminist studies, queer studies, ethnic studies, postcolonial studies, urban studies, environmental analysis, and architecture. As such, There Is No Soundtrack makes meaningful connections between previously disconnected bodies of scholarship to build new, more complex and reverberating frameworks for the study of art, media, and sound.
Conducting (self) interviews at sea for a surfer’s view of
). What has come to be known as surf studies has broadened significantly and now represents a strong field that stretches beyond its niche. Though exceeding itself in many respects, surf studies remains agape with opportunities to learn more, particularly from within the mysterious and potentially mundane littoral zone.
Widely used research methods in studying surfing include surveys, interviews and a great deal of auto-ethnography as researchers attempt to make sense of their hobby and study area. The majority of this work has taken place on land, with
and consumption as well as analyses of textual representation.5 In
the following pages I attempt to open up this core identity to further investigation by grappling with my own middle-classness,
and with two documentary films which, inadvertently or otherwise, have led me to confront this element of my identity. Although this chapter lacks the scope or detail to be called a
fully-fledged piece of autoethnography, it borrows from that critical tradition an interest in self-examination in order to query some
of the assumptions and practices of academic discourse