As sci-fi writer William Gibson has said, “The future is already here; it is just unevenly distributed.” With the on-going decline of the recording industry, music offers a natural experiment in emerging forms of social economies, and thus presents pictures of what a post-capitalist future might be. By comparing diverse examples of how musicians make livelihoods today, we can observe how social and economic values are complexly intertwined. Examples are drawn from Japan and the US, and will include pop idols (real and virtual), the underground DJ scene, and crowd-funding efforts to support musical projects.
Cultural anthropologist and Professor at MIT
Ian Condry is a cultural anthropologist and professor at MIT, where he has taught since 2002. He is the author of two books, Hip-Hop Japan (2006) and The Soul of Anime (2013), both of which are also available in Japanese. His publications, including a recent article about anime director Makoto Shinkai, are available for free download from Academia.edu. He is the founder and organizer of the Dissolve Inequality project at MIT, which explores alternative politics, especially through music and the arts, aimed at tackling various forms of inequality. More info: iancondry.com