Sunday, March 31, 2013

Acconci Reading

"The model for a new public space is pop music. Music is time and not space; music has no place, so it doesn’t have to keep its place, it fills the air and doesn’t take up space. Its mode of existence is to be in the middle of things; you can do other things while you’re in the middle of it. You’re not in front of it, and you don’t go around it, or through it; the music goes through you, and stays inside you." -- Vito Acconci
This passage from Acconci's reading affected me the most.  I felt that what Acconci was trying to express was that our modern society, in a way, needs pop music.  In many areas, urbanization has spread and in almost all of these urban areas, public space has become more pervasive and almost inescapable in day-to-day life.  In a way, pop music and social networks are similar, yet they require different levels of effort.  For those who live in these areas, pop music is a non-threatening and simple medium for public space.  Like Acconci stated, another reason why music isn't as pervasive as physical public space is that you do not have to be fully cognitively committed to music; you can listen to music while physically or cognitively committed to other activities such as homework or exercise.  The relationship between the song and the individual goes one way, through the ears and "inside you"; you do not need to converse or interact directly with the song to get satisfaction.

In public spaces (for example, like a shopping mall), you may hear a popular song playing over an intercom, coming through someone's headphones, or you may be listening to the song yourself.  Pop music is interesting in a way because it normalizes and unifies our society, if only for a brief moment.  For example, take Adele's "Rolling In The Deep".  Any two individuals from across the country may not have hardly anything in common, and yet they both more than likely know a few lines from the song's lyrics or at least the song's main melody.  Along with individuals with opposing qualities, music can also bring together people who share the same tastes as well, with subcultures such punk and rap enthusiasts.  Overall, I agree with Acconci's views.  Almost every person knows that pop music unifies people across the globe but not many have thought of pop music enough to begin to theorize it as public space.

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