ALCStudies Journal

Advanced Labor & Cultural Studies Web Site & Blog

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Is It Live, Memorex or Youtube?

Excellent article in the Irish Times about digital replication (streaming) of music and art vs. live performance and presentation.[1]

Woody Guthrie, troubadour of the American dustbowl in the 30s (who had a thing or two to say about labor, exploitation and music) observed “… electric fonagrafts an’ radeos an’ talkies has fixed it where you put a nickle in an’ one or two musicians entertains hundreds or thousends of people, an’ hole armies of well talented folks goes beggin.” [sic]

His complaint preceded Facebook and Youtube. The dilemma now as then is how to reward and support those who honor their artistic muse when the prevailing commercial and consumer trend is to turn her solely into a commodity, if not a whore. Our organization (ALCStudies.org) promotes live spoken-word and musical events (e.g., live radio and lectures). We believe the Web can digitize and duplicate the simulacra[2], but never replace the immanence (and sacredness) of connecting human beings through the gift of live art, including music, dance and the spoken-word. People hunger for that experience still, which is as old as civilization. The Gaelic and Celtic cultures gave us some of the greatest examples. Just ask Ossian (or at least James Macpherson) ; – ).

Speaking of exploitation, see an article on emotional labor at FastCompany.com

— DA


[1] *Memorex, orginator of a famous casette tape television commercial featuring singer Ella Fitzgerald, filed for bankruptcy in 1996.

 [2] Thanks to artist Chris McGinnis for introducing this term: …The simulacrum is never that which conceals the truth—it is the truth which conceals that there is none. The simulacrum is true. – Jean Baudrillard

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New Book at ALCStudies

Advanced Labor & Cultural Studies has published a book of photos and journal entries from my 2011 canoeing and cycling trip on the Erie Canal. Some of these photos appeared previously in a 2012 calendar. Additional photos and accompanying commentary appear with new and original text. This book will appeal to readers interested in history, culture and mindful, self-powered pursuits. Please see the following description. This book will be provided as a premium for donations of $75 and above supporting our projects. Or, click the image to preview and purchase directly at LULU.com. Thanks. — CDL

Between Labor Day and September 11th 2011 Chuck Lanigan canoed and cycled a portion of the Erie Canal between Lockport and Rochester New York. He took photos and kept a journal of the towns, individuals and experiences he encountered on the way. This book presents stories often overlooked among the interstates and our preoccupation with virtual experience in the 21st century.
Please click to preview or purchase.
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