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Endurant Bodies/Atmospheric Borders: Race, Indigeneity, and Transmedia Art in Contemporary Canada


Endurant Bodies/Atmospheric Borders: Race, Indigeneity, and Transmedia Art in Contemporary Canada

Morgenstern, Tyler (2015) Endurant Bodies/Atmospheric Borders: Race, Indigeneity, and Transmedia Art in Contemporary Canada. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Interrogating post-9/11 shifts in the institutional and discursive organization of policing and incarceration capacities, state surveillance practices, and citizenship and immigration policy, this work argues that the contemporary Canadian state manages the boundary between the (normatively white) social body it names and its Indigenous and racialized Others by way of an atmospheric bordering regime. An ambient system of disciplinary pressures that overreaches the state’s territorial limits, this regime functions as a technology, simultaneously representational and irreducibly material, for moving bodies through and removing bodies from the state by consolidating and ascribing, to some bodies more than others, particular forms of racial and Indigenous difference – interrelated and co-constitutive, yet never strictly equivalent. Through this process, racialized and Indigenous bodies are variously configured as strange, backward, and contaminating; as ‘points of tension’ that, for threatening to rend a “shared atmosphere” (Ahmed, 2014, para. 15) of national belonging, are targeted for exclusion, expulsion, and elimination. While tracing how these dynamics weave through specific discursive artefacts (policy documents, press releases, news reports, legal proceedings, and governmental pronouncements), I also emphasize how critical representational practices might hold open the possibility of contestation. To this end, I turn to the work of four contemporary Indigenous and racialized artists working in Canada, exploring how their transmedial practices recast our embodied encounters with difference, and help us to grasp at ways of being in touch with o/Others across and against the racial and (settler) colonial logics embedded in the labour of atmospheric bordering.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Morgenstern, Tyler
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Media Studies
Date:4 April 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lynes, Krista Geneviève
Keywords:contemporary art, Canadian politics, indigeneity, race, border studies, settler colonialism, affect, embodiment
ID Code:979827
Deposited On:09 Jul 2015 15:05
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:50


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