Download Music, Radio and the Public Sphere: The Aesthetics of by Charles Fairchild PDF

By Charles Fairchild

Radio, the main customary medium on this planet, is a dominant mediator of musical which means. via a mix of severe research, interdisciplinary concept and ethnographic writing approximately neighborhood radio, this ebook presents a singular theorization of democratic aesthetics, with vital implications for the research of previous and new media alike.

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Example text

As I show in the next two chapters, varied systems of Social Solidarity in the Luminiferous Ether 39 ‘self-regulation’ have replaced actual regulation. This produces systems in which regulators are taken from the very industries they are meant to regulate. This has led directly to unprecedented levels and forms of commercialization (McAllister, 1996; Barber, 2007). , 1999; Anonymous, 2001; Ruskin and Schor, 2005). Third, through this we have experienced the dramatic expansion of corporate power and influence into numerous social, political, economic and communicative spheres from which it had previously been barred (Leys, 2001).

The second central argument of this book is that it is precisely this lack of rationalized control that allows for the very possibility of the civil and potentially democratic aesthetics I see in these radio stations. This is because these organizations are not merely shaped by the expressive practices they facilitate; they are constituted by them. Such aesthetics cannot be the product of a strategy or an ideology; it simply cannot be planned and implemented. It has to be worked out in practice in situ.

It is hard to look at the contemporary music industry, with its constant evocation of destruction provoked not least by its own hand, its notable lack of relevance to so many consumers who embrace so many other, apparently preferable options, and not hear a few echoes of Attali’s claims to dissolution and subversion. The ‘new noise’ Attali saw emerging, ‘piecemeal and with the greatest ambiguity’, was inspired by a radical ‘shift in the locus of the perception of things’ (p. 133). He imagines people creating new communicative relations with each other, built on the ruins and scattered remains of ‘the old codes’ – codes which were fractured as the field of the commodity itself was gradually dismembered.

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