Category: platform capitalism

‘The best guide to what being a musician, and what “the music industry” actually are that I can remember reading…’

‘The best guide to what being a musician, and what “the music industry” actually are that I can remember reading…’

CAN MUSIC MAKE YOU SICK? Measuring the Price of Music Ambition
Sally Anne Gross and George Musgrave

OUT NOW
“The best guide to what being a musician, and what “the music industry” actually are that I can remember reading… it manages to capture and quantify so much about how we value emotion, creativity, labour, relationships, time, other people, [and] ourselves, in the information economy” Joe Muggs  (DJ, Promoter, Journalist [Guardian, Telegraph, FACT, Mixmag, The Wire])

“Musicians often pay a high price for sharing their art with us. Underneath the glow of success can often lie loneliness and exhaustion, not to mention the basic struggles of paying the rent or buying food. Sally Anne Gross and George Musgrave raise important questions – and we need to listen to what the musicians have to tell us about their working conditions and their mental health.” Emma Warren (Music Journalist and Author)

“Singing is crying for grown-ups. To create great songs or play them with meaning its creators reach far into emotion and fragility seeking the communion we demand of music. The world loves music for bridging those lines. However, music’s toll on musicians can leave deep scars. In this important book, Sally Anne Gross and George Musgrave investigate the relationship between the wellbeing music brings to society and the wellbeing of those who create. It’s a much needed reality check, deglamourising the romantic image of the tortured artist.” Crispin Hunt (Multi-Platinum Songwriter/Record Producer, Chair of the Ivors Academy)

“A critical and timely book which is sure to kick start further conversations around musicians, mental health and the music industry” Adam Ficek (Psychotherapist [Music and Mind]/BabyShambles)

“This book should be mandatory reading for every label, booking agent, manager and tour manager in the business of music and touring so we can all better understand what’s really involved in living the life of a professional musician and the role we all have in making that life as liveable as possible” Grant Hutchison (Frightened Rabbit)

It is often assumed that creative people are prone to psychological instability, and that this explains apparent associations between cultural production and mental health problems. In their detailed study of recording and performing artists in the British music industry, Sally Anne Gross and George Musgrave turn this view on its head.  By listening to how musicians understand and experience their working lives, this book proposes that whilst making music is therapeutic, making a career from music can be traumatic. The authors show how careers based on an all-consuming passion have become more insecure and devalued. Artistic merit and intimate, often painful, self-disclosures are the subject of unremitting scrutiny and data metrics. Personal relationships and social support networks are increasingly bound up with calculative transactions.  Drawing on original empirical research and a wide-ranging survey of scholarship from across the social sciences, their findings should be provocative for future research on mental health, wellbeing and working conditions in the music industries and across the creative economy. Going beyond self-help strategies, they challenge the industry to make transformative structural change. Until then, the book provides an invaluable guide for anyone currently making their career in music, as well as those tasked with training and educating the next generation.

Contents
1. Introduction: Special Objects, Special Subjects
2. Sanity, Madness and Music
3. The Status of Work
4. The Status of Value
5. The Status of Relationships
6. Conclusions: What Do You Believe In?
Appendixes| Notes | Bibliography

AUTHORS
Sally Anne Gross is a Principal Lecturer at the University of Westminster and the course leader of the MA Music Business Management. She is also a music manager and music business affairs consultant, and has worked in the music industry for over three decades.

George Musgrave is an academic based at both the University of Westminster and Goldsmiths, University of London. He is also a musician who has been signed to Sony/EMI/ATV.

Open Access
PDF, ePub and kindle versions available free from https://www.uwestminsterpress.co.uk/site/books/m/10.16997/book43/

Subjects
Popular Music  |  Media Industries  | Cultural Studies  | Communication Studies

Is the Price of Musical Ambition Too High?

Is the Price of Musical Ambition Too High?

It is often assumed that creative people are prone to psychological instability, and that this explains apparent associations between cultural production and mental health problems. Sally Anne Gross and George Musgrave in their book CAN MUSIC MAKE YOU SICK? turn this view on its head. By listening to how musicians understand and experience their working lives, they show that whilst making music is therapeutic, making a career from music can be traumatic.

Listen to Sally Anne Gross discuss the authors’ findings on Robert Elms BBC Radio London, 11.00 Saturday 26th. Jason Solomons stands in.

New theory of Communciation and Capitalism from Christian Fuchs

New theory of Communciation and Capitalism from Christian Fuchs

UWP‘s latest open access book title in the CDSMS series, Communication and Capitalism: A Critical Theory by Christian Fuchs has just been released. Below a short extract from the introduction where the author explains’s his approach in the book.

I have become convinced that an update of Marx’s theory and Hegelian philosophy in the 21st century is a viable approach for critical theory and that this approach does not need to borrow from complexity theory in order to be consistent and offer convincing explanations. Hegelian Marxism has a rich and diverse tradition and history that is today often forgotten, but possesses an immense intellectual and political wealth that 21st century critical theory can build on. There is a rich tradition of Marxist theory that can inform the critical study of society, communication, and culture. Because of the neoliberal turn and the postmodern turn, many Marxist approaches to the study of society, communication, and culture have been forgotten. I build on Marx and theories inspired by Marx in order to ground a Marxist theory of communication. […]

By working through a multitude of analyses of concrete societal and communication phenomena I have over the years developed a range of theoretical insights. These insights, concepts, and analyses have never been static, but have developed. Critical theory is itself dialectical. By working through various critical and bourgeois theories and working out analyses of a range of social phenomena (including privacy, surveillance, digital labour, social media, the Internet, authoritarianism, nationalism, protest, advertising, globalisation, imperialism, nature, sustainability, participation, democracy, the public sphere, culture, communities, etc.), I have established in different places and my mind some elements of a critical, dialectical theory of capitalism and communication.’ 

CDSMS series board expands

CDSMS series board expands

University of Westminster Press flagship series Critical Digital and Social Media Studies today announces new editorial board members Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, Arwid Lund, Safiya Noble , Sarah Roberts, Bingqing Xia and Mariano Zukerfeld joining the established board as the series grows with its fourteenth title The Internet Myth: From the Internet Imaginary to Network Ideologies  by Paolo Bory published on 29 April 2020 and the fifteenth title Communication and Capitalism; A Critical Theory by series editor Christian Fuchs published on 20 May 2020.

The CDSMS series board now comprises: Thomas Allmer, Mark Andrejevic, Miriyam Aouragh, Charles Brown, Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, Eran Fisher, Peter Goodwin, Jonathan Hardy, Kylie Jarrett, Anastasia Kavada, Arwid Lund, Maria Michalis, Stefania Milan, Vincent Mosco, Safiya Noble, Jernej Amon Prodnik, Jack Qiu, Sarah Roberts, Marisol Sandoval, Sebastian Sevignani, Pieter Verdegem, Bingqing Xia, Mariano Zukerfeld. Series Editor: Christian Fuchs. Titles (all published open access) already available in order of publication in the CDSMS series are:

Critical Theory of Communication: New Readings of Lukács, Adorno, Marcuse, Honneth and Habermas in the Age of the Internet
Christian Fuchs 
https://doi.org/10.16997/book1

Knowledge in the Age of Digital Capitalism: An Introduction to Cognitive Materialism
Mariano Zukerfeld
https://doi.org/10.16997/book3

Politicizing Digital Space: Theory, the Internet, and Renewing Democracy
Trevor Garrison Smith
https://doi.org/10.16997/book5

Capital, State, Empire: The New American Way of Digital Warfare
Scott Timcke
https://doi.org/10.16997/book6

The Spectacle 2.0: Reading Debord in the Context of Digital Capitalism
Edited by Marco Briziarelli and Emiliana Armano
https://doi.org/10.16997/book11

The Big Data Agenda: Data Ethics and Critical Data Studies
Annika Richterich
https://doi.org/10.16997/book14

Social Capital Online: Alienation and Accumulation
Kane X. Faucher
https://doi.org/10.16997/book16

The Propaganda Model Today: Filtering Perception and Awareness
Edited by Joan Pedro-Carañana, Daniel Broudy and Jeffery Klaehn
https://doi.org/10.16997/book27

Critical Theory and Authoritarian Populism
Edited by Jeremiah Morelock
https://doi.org/10.16997/book30

Peer to Peer: The Commons Manifesto
Michel Bauwens, Vasilis Kostakis, and Alex Pazaitis
https://doi.org/10.16997/book33

Bubbles and Machines: Gender, Information and Financial Crises
Micky Lee 
https://doi.org/10.16997/book34

Cultural Crowdfunding: Platform Capitalism, Labour, and Globalization 
Edited by Vincent Rouzé 
https://doi.org/10.16997/book38

The Condition of Digitality: A Post-Modern Marxism for the Practice of Digital Life
Robert Hassan
https://doi.org/10.16997/book44

Incorporating the Digital Commons: Corporate Involvement in Free and Open Source Software
Benjamin J. Birkinbine
https://doi.org/10.16997/book39

 

Leicester University – panel and book launch: CULTURAL CROWDFUNDING

Leicester University – panel and book launch: CULTURAL CROWDFUNDING

CULTURAL CROWDFUNDING: Platform Capitalism, Labour and Globalization (editor Vincent Rouzé) will be discussed at a panel and book launch at Leicester University on the 22nd January 2020.
Speakers: Vincent Rouzé and Jacob Matthews (Paris 8)
Respondents: Alberto Cossu and Athina Karatzogianni (MCS, University of Leicester)
Moderator: Paula Serafini (CAMEO, University of Leicester)

Date and Time
Wed, January 22, 2020
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM GMT

Location
Lecture Theatre
SCHOOL OF MEDIA, COMMUNICATION & SOCIOLOGY
132 NEW WALK
BANKFIELD HOUSE
LEICESTER LE1 7JA

Further details and to register see eventbrite:

Details of the open access book or to view and download visit the book page

Titles in the Critical Digital and Social Media Studies are published by the University of Westminster Press.

Digital … transcends the human scale: The Condition of Digitality published

Digital … transcends the human scale: The Condition of Digitality published

Robert Hassan’s new book The Condition of Digitality is the latest title to be released in the ‘Critical Digital and Social Media Studies‘ series. In this extract from the introduction in which he reflects on changes of outlook since David Harvey first wrote and published The Condition of Postmodernity, Hassan suggests – to use the words of the book’s subtitle – how the digital requires a new perspective from ‘analogue’ humans,that is – ‘A Post-Modern Marxism for the Practice of Digital Life’.

‘Digital machines and their logic are (in the operation of their logic) like nothing we have ever seen before. Everything previously, going back to the dawn of our species and our drift toward technology invention and use, was some kind of analogue technology. From the wheel to the radio signal, and from writing to television, analogue technology fashioned our world and fashioned us, making possible such human-scaled processes as knowledge and communication, cities and institutions, Enlightenment and modernity, conceptions of time and space. Digitality changes all these and more, starting with the total transcending of the human scale. Time and space are now different categories of perception, condensed into immediacy and acceleration at the general level through, for example, the now-ubiquitous smartphone. Such drastic changes in scale and perception rebound back upon the analogue legacies in the realms of knowledge, reason, modernity and so on—and we struggle with the contradictions inherent within their unavoidable interactions across economy, society, culture and politics.

Seen in this way, digital technology and digitality compel us to think hard not just about the digital, but also about that which it supplants—the analogue logic and the relationship with analogue technology that made possible our pre-digital world. We are driven also to think about where the human stands in relation to analogue and digital. Some scattered work was done in this regard in the 1980s and 1990s, but all of it tentative, and none of it from a Marxist perspective that, like Harvey, makes salient social change and the socialist project. The hypothesis I construct here concludes that we are, ontologically speaking, analogue beings from an analogue universe that evolved from out of our species’ drift toward tool-use to become homo sapiens. Some scattered work was done here too, but only suggestive, not systematic, and not with a view to conclusions that had ramifications for the present conjuncture in terms of political economy or techno-capitalism. Meanwhile, digitality spread from a nascent but obvious technological ‘revolution’ around the time of Harvey’s research for Postmodernity, to become a whole way of life—infiltrating the practice of daily life and colonising the consciousness that governs the meanings that constitute practice. It became a central element of culture, in other words; culture that is now networked and global. What this means is that the elements of Postmodernity that Harvey takes as empty ideologies—a globalising neoliberalism and the cultural postmodernity that expresses its superficiality—have become embedded, through digitality, into the practice that constitutes how everyday life is now increasingly lived and understood (or not understood).’