Live broadcast personal consultations with Sumugan Sivanesan introducing the benefits of Karaoke Therapy. Register here to secure your slot in the KARA-O-KLINIK or just walk-in!
Duration of each session: 30min
Language: Consultations are in English, although you can karaoke in the language of your choice.
Location: HIAP Studios
Following the ‘silent disco’ season finale of fugitive radio’s online club, RUB, in April, I’ve been thinking about ‘awkward’ as an aesthetic category; a subclass of ‘zany’ that cultural theorist Sianne Ngai describes as: “evok[ing] the performance of affective labor—the production of affects and social relationships—as it comes to increasingly trouble the distinction between work and play.” (Our Aesthetic Categories: Zany, Cute, Interesting, 2012, p.7)
Ngai notes that the zany mode is “lighthearted but strikingly vehement”, in which injury is always imminent. Literature and media scholar Pansy Duncan associates awkward with ungainly actions that impede progress combined with feelings of embarrassment. In her article on ‘cringe comedy’, “Joke work: comic labor and the aesthetics of the awkward” (2017) she traces the emergence of cringe comedy with the reorganisation of labour during late capitalism—from mechanical conditions to flexible, ‘creative’ and affective practices. Noting its arhythmic timing and the labour and endurance required of audiences, she emphasises awkward’s “negative phenomenological effects” (p.2).
Arguably play, sociability and managing relationships are simply how we work in ‘creative industries’. So what aesthetic and affective modes do we habitually use as we negotiate expectations to perform our ‘authentic selves’—indeed the best version of ourselves—in these sectors overly concerned with representation? When we sing and dance for our supper what do our voices and bodies betray? What tricks do we turn to when we feel we are failing?
KARA–O–KLINIK sets up a broadcast situation, combining endurance performance-research with reality ‘comedy vérité’. It will broadcast live from HIAP Open Studios, Friday 6 May, 16.00–20.00 and Saturday 7 May, 14.00–18.00.