The Studio as Contemporary Autonomous Zone

Crisis and Creativity in Electronic Music


This article explores electronic music making in a context of precarity and climate crisis. I use ethnographic research conducted in the Australian city of Adelaide and the provocative ideas of nineteenth century German philosopher, Max Stirner, to situate the electronic music studio as a contemporary autonomous zone, an interface between creative expression and capitalist existence. I argue that the studio functions as a physical and psychological space to develop what Stirner termed “ownness”, taking possession and realizing one’s own capacity and power. I propose ownness as a theoretical tool for understanding the studio as a site of self-realisation and micro-political action, investigating how electronic music practice shapes subjectivity, autonomy and resistance. The contemporary studio emerges as a refuge from the anxieties and uncertainties of late-capitalism, a therapeutic outlet and means of becoming, an opportunity to find voice and vocation in the violence of the present.