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Accepted Paper:

Digital sound technologies: the renegotiation of music production, consumption and collecting practices  
Andrew Bowsher (University of Oxford (alumni))

Paper long abstract:

Today, commercial and consumer music worlds play substantial roles in safeguarding sounds and challenging institutional hegemony over preservation practices. Digitised sound technologies have been instrumental in this shift, but have been regarded both as a utilitarian innovation as well as an aural and tactile failure by both amateur and professional music archivists, as well as consumers and collectors in the music marketplace. This paper draws on fieldwork in the United States with music collectors and record labels to examine the democratisation and commodification of digital sound, archiving aesthetics and curatorial voices, and the resulting conflicts between digital technologies and analogue practices - the valorisation of materially substantive archives in the face of the digital-technology revolution. Examining the everyday conflicts between analogue and digital technologies as aural and tactile entities in the marketplace of music commodities and consumers' homes elicits new insights into our conception of a digital future for our archives.

Panel IW003
Digital anthropology
  Session 1