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Paula Matthusen






This thesis concerns the everyday’s appearance in aesthetic performances. The analysis begins by defining the everyday and examining how it has appeared in art and music at the turn of the twentieth century. I demonstrate how Jennifer Ana Gosetti-Ferencei’s concept of ecstasis emerges from Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s Alter Bahnhof Video Walk and Pauline Olveros’s “Native” from Sonic Meditations. Ecstasis enables both Alter Bahnhof Video Walk and “Native” to expand the subject’s concept of the everyday. Blue Gene Tyranny’s “Taking Out the Garbage” reveals how aesthetic performance can transform the everyday while also being transformed by the everyday objects and actions it works with. Kimberly Bohman-Kalaja’s theory of playtexts shows that “Taking Out the Garbage” uses play to produce critiques of the everyday activities that happen within the video. Finally, Sara Ahmed’s theory of disorientation, when paired with Gosetti-Ferencei’s ecstasis and Bohman-Kalaja’s theory of play, demonstrates that works that incorporate the everyday aim to reorient the subject to the everyday, expanding their appreciation for it, and by changing how they orient themselves toward the everyday as it appears in their own lives. The thesis concludes with a discussion of how the quotidian and elements related to it appear in the author’s own compositional output while at Wesleyan University.



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