In Attali’s reading on music/noise dialectic, “all music can be defined as noise given form according to a code that is theoretically knowable by the listener.” The core question here is the power of code making that splits sound into the authorized and the unauthorized. It is within this existing regime, Deleuze and Guattari reminds us the territorializing power of music, through which unauthorized groups might also challenge and disrupt a given social-spatial order by assembling “many, very diverse, sonic and material components” in a way that “involves an activity of selection, elimination and extraction”. This is a process of turning the un-authorised to the un-authorising. Drawn upon these insights, this research proposes to study the relational and processual polemic interactions of the authorised and the un-authorising in the regime of Chinese rock. Situating grassroots Chinese live rock scenes in the growing passion of musical city making by the entrepreneurial state, this project sets out an analytical framework through which to explore how different orders are discussed, practised, sensed and understood, by whom and where, and more importantly, their power relations. In this paper, I will focus on the un-authorising force of New Workers’ Art Troupe and their practices of “The earthy folk-rock festival” to forging a new order. The new order not only challenges the existing social-spatial fixity that indicates “proper allocations of social groups and places”, but also challenges the existing image of migrant workers that confines them to be a miserable but powerless group awaiting to be sympathised and helped by someone else. Attention is paid to spatial tactics of how to perform a complete human being, such as, how “they sing their songs and dance their land”, how they build up the web of empowerment through what we call guerrilla warfare, and dilemmas and limits in this process.
About the Speaker:
Dr. June Wang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Policy at City University of Hong Kong. Her long-term research interest dwells on the on-going process of (re-)territorialisation in the making of cultural cities, that is, how the intertwined political and economic logics put human and non-human things on the move, resulting in ceaseless re-configuration of territory, economy and workforce. She has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed journals papers, books and chapters (such as Geoforum, Territory, Politics, Governance, Urban Geography), and she has published books with Routledge and Edward Elgar. Her recent paper “State Territorialization, Neoliberal Governmentality: The Remaking of Dafen Oil Painting Village, Shenzhen, China” has been adopted in the “Routledge Geography Article Collection 2017”.
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