The Center for Ethnomusicology warmly congratulates Dr. Shannon Garland, who successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on September 5, 2014. Dr. Garland's dissertation, advised by Prof. Ana Maria Ochoa, is entitled: "Music, Affect, Value, and Labor: Late Capitalism and the (Mis)Productions of Indie Music in Chile and Brazil."
Dissertation Abstract: This dissertation traces the tensions surrounding indie music production in Santiago, Chile and Sao Paulo, Brazil. I conducted several years of ethnographic research on locally situated, yet transnationally interpolated, musical production, circulation and listening practices in Santiago and Sao Paulo. I open by detailing the expansion of the indie touring market from the global north into both cities, theorizing the enlistment of affect as a neoliberal technique for producing monetary value. The next chapter considers spaces for musical association as forms of infrastructure that both emerge from and themselves help constitute musical-social networks in Santiago. I follow by showing how the history of Brazilian individuals' engagement with particular sets of indie sounds from the global north bear upon the contemporary formation of infrastructures of social relations, musical aesthetics, and places for musical and social association. Finally, I detail how the tensions between the construction of audience, value, aesthetics and circulation arising from new production structures manifest in the politics of a new type of Brazilian institution called Fora do Eixo. Here, I inspect the logics of aesthetic valuation in building structures for music production within a complex state-private nexus of cultural funding in Brazil. As a whole, this dissertation explores the political struggles emerging as actors seek to establish new structures for participating in live shows and for playing music as both a creative practice and as an economic activity within emerging forms of communication made possible by digital media. Each struggle is simultaneously interpolated by the messy articulation of transnationally-produced notions of aesthetics, authentic modes of engagement with music, and moral-ethical ways of organizing music production, circulation and remuneration as a social practice. The dissertation thus highlights the way new media and economic logics build upon and clash with historical practices of production, evaluation of aesthetics, and regimes for mediating the artistic, the economic, and the social.