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Tunes from Brainville: Improvised Jazz and/as Utopia

Greg Shupak

Published: 2014-02-13

In this piece, Shupak examines the correlations between political visions of utopia and the space Daniel Fischlin and Ajay Heble refer to as the other side of nowhere, a space in which the world can be re-envisioned. Shupak uses Sun Ra's "Brainville" as an example of how improvised music itself can create a sociopolitical imagination of a new politics, a utopia.

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Listening itself, an improvisative act engaged in by everyone, announces a practice of active engagement with the world, where we sift, interpret, store and forget, in parallel with action and fundamentally articulated with it ("Mobilitas Animi" 113).

– George E. Lewis