Journal of the Society for American Music

Research Article

History, An Exit Strategy: The RetroFuture Fabulations of kara lynch

GASCIA OUZOUNIAN

Abstract

A cartographer constructs a map of an individual creative history, that of the American artist kara lynch, as it emerges in connection to a collective history of African American cultural expression. Positioning history as complex, dynamic systems of interwoven memory networks, the map follows lynch's traversals through various “zones of cultural haunting”: places where collective memories made invisible through systematic processes of cultural erasure may be recovered and revived. Through these traversals, which are inspired by lynch's “forever project” Invisible, the map covers such terrains as haunted narratives, mechanisms of abstraction and coding within African American media production, water as an informational technology, the distribution of memory in blood, the dialectics of materiality and immateriality that frame considerations of black subjectivity, and the possibility that place of music might not be the site of sound but instead the social production of memory.

Footnotes

I wish to thank Joseph Klett for his thoughtful suggestions, and kara lynch for filling my pockets and purse with poetry.