Counterhegemonic practice in digital music – a dissertation

Season’s Greetings!

I finished my MRes in music earlier this year and was awarded a distinction, as a seasonal gift I’ve made the dissertation available for view, download and dissemination

View/download dissertation here

Counterhegemonic​ ​Practice​ ​in​ ​Digital​ ​Music:​ ​How​ ​Interfaces​ ​and​ ​Networks​ ​are​ ​changing the​ ​cultural​ ​and​ ​political​ ​map​ ​of​ ​underground​ ​music

Abstract:​ ​​This​ ​dissertation​ ​explores​ ​the​ ​political​ ​and​ ​cultural​ ​aspects​ ​of​ ​underground​ ​music​ ​in the​ ​digital​ ​age,​ ​and​ ​how​ ​contemporary​ ​musicians​ ​are​ ​using​ ​art​ ​and​ ​technology​ ​to​ ​collectivise against​ ​social​ ​and​ ​economic​ ​inequality.​ ​The​ ​democratisation​ ​of​ ​music​ ​production​ ​software,​ ​and the​ ​changing​ ​modes​ ​of​ ​listening​ ​from​ ​purchasing​ ​single​ ​units​ ​to​ ​streaming​ ​has​ ​led​ ​to​ ​the recorded​ ​music​ ​industry​ ​definitively​ ​changing;​ ​most​ ​importantly​ ​music​ ​has​ ​become​ ​digital material​ ​as​ ​recorded​ ​data,​ ​which​ ​platform​ ​corporations​ ​use​ ​to​ ​profit​ ​from​ ​and​ ​gain​ ​control​ ​of digital​ ​users.​ ​Through​ ​introducing​ ​theoretical​ ​concepts​ ​such​ ​as​ ​immaterial​ ​labour,​ ​network protocol,​ ​“left​ ​accelerationism”​ ​and​ ​the​ ​post-human​ ​economy​ ​I​ ​propose​ ​that​ ​political organisation​ ​in​ ​the​ ​digital​ ​underground​ ​must​ ​map​ ​its​ ​resistances​ ​against​ ​information​ ​and network​ ​hegemony.​ ​In​ ​order​ ​to​ ​map​ ​the​ ​potential​ ​for​ ​digital​ ​counterpower​ ​this​ ​dissertation presents​ ​case​ ​studies​ ​on​ ​artists​ ​such​ ​as​ ​Holly​ ​Herndon,​ ​NON​ ​Collective​ ​and​ ​Mykki​ ​Blanco,​ ​as well​ ​as​ ​live​ ​coding​ ​practice​ ​and​ ​alternative​ ​business​ ​models​ ​such​ ​as​ ​Resonate.​ ​The​ ​conclusion queries​ ​the​ ​possibilities​ ​and​ ​limitations​ ​of​ ​counterhegemonic​ ​practice​ ​in​ ​digital​ ​music,​ ​and proposes​ ​that​ ​such​ ​practice​ ​must​ ​engage​ ​with​ ​wider​ ​issues​ ​of​ ​data​ ​and​ ​platforms.

Please feel free to share, return some comments, get in touch via Twitter all that sort of goodness

All the best for next year, love and solidarity

Jon Davies

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