“Listening between the lines: Curating the normative Canadian”
A presentation by Dr. Rebecca Draisey-Collishaw
Premised on the excitement of live performance and extemporaneous convergences of unlikely combinations of Canadian musicians, the CBC radio program Fuse (broadcast 2005‑2008) prioritized an aesthetic of liveness as a production value. Though presented as a series of live concert performances, each episode was edited according to the narrative priorities of the broadcaster. Building on the notion of broadcasts as “interocular” fields—spaces that are structured by awareness of other sites and perspectives from which the gaze is projected (Appadurai & Breckenridge, Consuming Modernity, 1995:12), I ask what happens when viewpoints are, in reality, only partial. That is, what are the implications for the decoder when the moment of encoding involves obfuscation of an omission? I draw on examples from Fuse to explore how narratives about race, gender, and sexuality are both sounded and silenced through curatorial strategies and editing decisions. I explore the broadcaster’s mediating voice, suggesting its role in privileging relational readings of musicians that reinforce a narrow imagining of social normativity.