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Voice of Being, Voice of Perpetual Becoming: Embodied Rituals for Transformation


This dissertation positions the professional performer of contemporary music in her contemporary socio-economic landscape, the intangible economy of immaterial production, in order to investigate the intellectual, social and conceptual responsibilities that come with her deep corporeal privilege. The production of affective labor is inextricably connected to the body; knowledge and skill is acquired through the body, assimilated inside the individual and shared between bodies. A brief history of the rise and pervasiveness of neoliberalism and its implicit ability to transform all human relations into capital allows for an outline of the forms of immaterial value that stem directly from the human—her physical capabilities, her knowledge, her morals and taste, her social being. Turning the discussion of value and quality into an ethical one, the second part of the dissertation revolves around the performer's experimental practice as a ritual of progressive self-transformation; analyses of deep corporeal experiences through newness are first analyzed in terms of their impact on the performer's body, then on the subject's outlook on her social situation. A theory of value through the transformation of understood "private property" in contemporary music is proposed with two specific examples of open-source, community-based, collaborative projects. The discussions in this dissertation position the performance of contemporary music as the site of optimistic potential social, ecological and economical transformation, inciting performers to engage deeply, thoughtfully and ritualistically with their individual practice to discover new and

innovative ideas for leveraging equality, justice and a positive outlook on the world.

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