Tuesday, August 11, 2009

DJ literacies as process

The practices of music production and consumption have always fascinated me. In writing about literacy, DJ-ing and remixing have become popular metaphors, as for example in the work of Dyson (2003) and Lanshear and Knobel (2006). They have also been used to describe the Web 2.0 user/developer (Boutelle, 2005). But I want to re-focus on the DJ and what might be called DJ-literacies. The short video segment shows a successful London-based DJ, preparing his material. Note how the tracks are downloaded from specialist sites, assembled on CD, catalogued on word-processed labels ready for remixing on digital decks in performance. There’s a whole string of literacy events that lie behind the live recontextualizing. To me this illustrates how a focus on digital literacy as text can be rather reductive, concealing the depth and complexity (or the absence of these!) of everyday practices. And that's a call for a richer description!

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