I’m crossposting this week’s post on cyborgology because it speaks directly to ideas I’ve been developing over here on IHF.
Authenticity is no longer given and proved by unique consumption but established by the volume of one’s productive behavior in social media…The true self, from this point of view, doesn’t precede the process of being encoded in social media; instead the real self — real in the sense of being influential — emerges through information processing (sharing, being shared, being on a social graph, having recommendations automated, being processed by algorithms, and so on). As information is processed and assimilated to the archive of self, it begins feeding into the algorithmic systems that report back to us the true nature of who we are. [emphasis mine]
Thanks for the post, food for thought. Something else that may need mentioning: the VMAs performance was unconvincing and poor in every respect. I appreciate the racial and gender reading you offer here, but I think it’s important too to point out that Miley’s stagecraft on this occasion was sub-Billy Idol, and that’s saying something.
You may well be aware of this stuff already, but the ‘trollgaze’ songs mentioned in the following article would probably fit your call for sonic/musical trolling: http://pitchfork.com/features/poptimist/8724-take-me-to-the-river/
I haven’t thought about “trolling” in music before, but I definitely have noticed that the demand for aggresive, rebelious and angsty music, of which troll music would be apart of, has vanished from modern mainstream and indie scenes. Even dubstep seems to balance its rough sound with videos that are midly creepy at worst. One could reasonably argue that “annoying your parents” has become co-opted to the point of complete irrelavance. To be honest, I’m kind of confused by your trolling theory. Artists play the role of the “villain” to make the audience feel like the “good guy”? Being “unacceptably” offensive is what white artists aim for, but the audience isn’t supposed to like it? I don’t see what that would change about race/gender politics as a whole, if consumers are supposed to distance themselves from arists and artists have no cultural value other than being hated and making money. This also reminds me something I’ve told my friends earlier, that Lady Gaga cannot become continue controversial, because her shock value is rooted in “righteous” shock, ie sexual openness, tolerance toward LGBT, extreme individualism, so she cannot branch out into truly shocking material: Nazi symbolism, racism, violence etc. I wonder how this will change.
Great post here. I’ve been trying to articulate to some friends of mine why I felt that the #burqaswag phenomenon (http://www.complex.com/style/2013/08/lady-gaga-burqa-swag). A friend argued that it was simple Orientalism, but I argued that it was more complex than that (and in many ways, dumber). I just had this feeling that it was somehow different, but couldn’t quite explain why. Your hypothesis provides a great context to ground such an argument. The trolling is a feedback loop. They supply simple, and divisive, yet ultimately rhetorical, question (is Cyrus racist: Y/N) to the audience, and the audience, via social media, responds in flamewars and adoration. Social media churns out hashtags, maximizing the number of hash tags being passed around ensuring virality. Not only are the fans motivated by defending their artist, but so are the ‘haters’, as well as folks who were previously uninvolved in the first place. Suddenly, there are stakes and everyone have their say in an epic pile on of comments, hashtags, and flames. It’s a strategy custom built for the social media age, and one I’m sure that the marketing folks supporting these major labels artists, and in some cases the artists themselves, are well aware of. Distinguishing between previous forms of appropriation and the current practices was very insightful. You put your finger on what I had been intuiting but hadn’t quite arrived at yet.
Very nice Thanks, Robin
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