The DJ as Critic, "constructing a sort of argument"
McCutcheon, Mark A.
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Countering romanticized representations of the disc jockey (DJ) as author, rock star, or shaman, this essay argues that the DJ is best understood as a critic, emblematic of appropriation as criticism in a mediascape characterized by content surplus, not scarcity. The paper theorizes DJ techniques (e.g. playback, mixing) as processes of selection and sequencing that enact Foucault’s model of commentary. The work of American DJ Z-Trip provides a case study. I contextualize this argument according to institutions like patriarchy and copyright, and situate DJ work in a history of appropriative forms, from the ancient cento to digital curating platforms.
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