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iPod... iCon.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date12/2008
JournalStudi Culturali
Journal number3
Volume5
Number of pages20
Pages355-374
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The iPod became, for a moment at least, iconic amongst those hand-held electronic devices with buttons and screens, noises and "connectivity" that proliferated at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This essay explores how the iPod, in becoming an unobtrusive memory machine as absent as an internal organ on the body of its user, provides a personal and separate experience that appears to express individual identity. But the organic form of the object as a personal store of culture obscures its role as a brand that ties its user into networks of connectivity. The iPod operates as a node in a network that co-opts the user into the circuits of a soft capitalism through an instrumental rationality that organises musical and other memories according to a modern bureaucratic computerised system.