The Role of Participatory Media in Aesthetic Taste Formation: How do Amateurs Critique Musical Performances and Videos on Youtube.com?

By Hiesun Cecilia Suhr.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

With the advent of participatory culture in the digital era, an alternative mode of marketing and promoting music online has expanded greatly over the past few years. Websites, such as myspace.com, musicfreedom.com and youtube.com, have blurred the boundaries between the producers and the consumers of culture, between the creator and the audience. This phenomenon has allowed not only the rise of non-professional artistic goods, but also the increase in the visibility of ubiquitous artistic commodities (Jenkins, 2003, p. 287). Regardless of this outlet’s contribution to the subversion of mainstream media, the everyday use of participatory media has undoubtedly brought forth a new type of aestheticism, thus reinventing the binary model illustrated by Adorno and Horkheimer (1944). This paper examines the role of participatory media in the formation of aesthetics taste in mainstream society. Through a textual analysis of the established artists' and the newly emerging artists' commentary sections of youtube.com, this research paper addresses the manner in which amateurs critique musical performances and videos in the participatory media. The overarching objective of this paper is to systemize the various themes that emerge out of the commentary sections. Within this context, the users' individual and conflicting opinions will be analyzed.

Keywords: Participatory Media, Virtual Community, Judgment of Taste, Aesthetic Formation, Music Performances in New Media

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.213-222. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 576.546KB).

Hiesun Cecilia Suhr

Ph.D. Student, School of Communication, Information and Library Studies, Rutgers University, weehawken, NJ, USA

Hiesun Cecilia Suhr is a Ph.D. candidate in Media Studies at Rutgers University and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Pace University. Her research interests pertain to the intersection of the aesthetics produced by the participatory media and the formation of taste. In addition, she is also interested in creating a new mode of knowledge production through bridging the gap between critical and integral theories.

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