Paul Chambers

Paul Chambers

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

School of Social Sciences

Faculty of Arts

I am a PhD Candidate and part-time Tutor in the School of Anthropology & Development Studies, University of Adelaide, supervised by Dr Dianne Rodger, and Professor Andrew Skuse. I have signalled by Intention to Submit my Doctoral Thesis, 'People, Platforms, Practice: The Social Mediation of Electronic Music Production', on May 10th 2019.

My thesis is a study of electronic music practice in the Australian city of Adelaide. Based on fieldwork conducted from July 2016 to January 2018, the work builds on scholarship that seeks to examine the impact of digital technology and the Internet on society. Its central aim is to examine how people engaged in making electronic music negotiate the affordances and pitfalls of a digitally-connected world. The intention is not to make value judgements on such developments but to chart responses to these conditions, in order that a shift towards ‘smart’ societies and inhabiting the virtual can be understood. The thesis has a dialectical structure, alternating throughout with perspectives that chart active and reactive responses to the ubiquity of digital technology in society. Three sections explore electronic music at the level of the subject, the object and their combination in the social, to understand how their mediation informs the modern musical assemblage.

The account transcends the boundaries between art and popular music and the binaries of underground and mainstream, exploring a field of musical cultures that are spatially and temporally connected, allowing for comparison and understanding of the processes and relations, discourses and ideologies behind contemporary aesthetic practice. With a focus on values and beliefs, it translates the transformative power of the musical experience, encapsulating the shifting state of being in the world today. My findings highlight the historical, emotional and affective engagement with music that reveals its importance for personal expression and real-life socialisation. The centrality of music practice in peoples’ lives acts as a primary way of processing the present, a mediation with technology and the social on multiple levels. The diversity of perspectives included from across the age range and stylistic spectrum provide a holistic portrait of a time and place. As an ethnography on contemporary music and society, it reveals how we are living, thinking and creating, with and through intelligent machines.

  • Mentoring

    Date Topic Location Name
    2018 - 2018 ANTH3034 Visual Anthropology University of Adelaide Paul Chambers
    2018 - 2018 ANTH1104 Foundations of Social Anthropology: People and Culture University of Adelaide Paul Chambers

Connect With Me
External Profiles