Pop Control: Dead, Air, Management
This PhD seeks to understand the capitalistic functions of the music-video form, interpreting its distinctive mode of audio-visuality as characteristic of new forms of commodity production. My research positions the construction of a performer’s identity as emblematic of such forms, examining the manner in which the culture industry produces and codifies notions of ‘personality’ for profit. I will consider the music-video’s role under neoliberalism, examining its role in the global production and reproduction of capitalistic subjectivity.
The music-video will be used as a prism through which to view concerns with standardisation, audio-visuality and artistic autonomy. Poised somewhere between advert, commodity, and artwork, the music-video has typically been construed as a hybridised form. Today, in the age of internet distribution, the functions the music-video fulfils are increasingly complex: it is unclear as to whether it sells music, advertises a brand, or performs the role of libidinising consumptive space.
The thesis will consist of a body of practical research accompanied by a written analysis. Practical work will consist of two main strands: a collaborative, interactive practice, used to develop forms of collective critique; and a series of text, film and performance works that seek to conceive of new forms of representation and subjectivity emerging from a critical and sensuous engagement with the music-video.
I have a thriving multi-disciplinary practice that explores the link between language, voice and the body, through our increasingly technologically mediated social and political space. My work will expand creatively upon contemporary academic theories of affect, discourse, gender and systemic accumulation, drawing on the work of writers including Paul Preciado and Nancy Fraser.