Janine Jembere

Sensual Hierarchies. 

This research project aims to investigate how power relations can be produced or dissolved through musical concepts and their makers. How music rewrites and reinterprets history, connects apparently inconsistent reference systems and overcomes rigid conceptions and attributions. I want to investigate which strategies of resistance, opposition and inventing musical concepts offer and how musical practice may infiltrate and dissolve the constructions of identity, in which we are born and thrown.
I believe that the way music (not cultures around music) is looked at is either mythologized, or highly specialized and I want to find ways to make concepts of music productive in a more general way. I think that the ways to analyze and think about phenomena is very connected to sensual perception. Therefore thinking music differently and taking its concepts and structures as a framework for analysis and imagination is a way to extend discourse. My main focus is gender and race, so I will emphasize concepts of fluidity, simultaneity, the possibilities of dissonance and the productivity of difference. Music for me has the potential to produce knowledge that is not normative, but in terms of Vilem Flusser informative.
Through engaging with the political dimension of music and sound I want to make something visually audible: the oppositional potential of fluidity and the poetry of difference. I want the “realities” of images play against the imaginary and develop a work, in which sound, text and image enter a dispute, weaving a network of language, image and sound that remains permeable enough for doubt.
The pop and cultural theorists Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy repeatedly emphasize the fluidity of cultures and their interactions, in contrast to notions of dominance. When bell hooks says “little progress is made if we transform images without shifting paradigms, changing perspectives”, I want to take Grada Kilomba seriously when she speaks of how to not only be occupied with rejecting your own limitations by others, but with the invention of yourself; to eventually embark on journey with Kodwo Eshun into a mutated, unhumanistic, acoustic fiction, which is at times more informative than the so-called reality.
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