Tuesday, July 14, 2009

IASPM: The Online Post-Rave Commons: Peer production and the production of offline social spaces for the Australian Psytrance Scene.

By Alex Lambert

Yesterday Alex Lambert gave an excellent paper on the relationship between the two primary social spheres for the psytrance movement. He discussed how doof parties bring together psytrance music, the social culture and the Australian landscape to produce what is in effect a tribal ritual. He also discussed the relationship between the events that take place in physical space and discussion forums such as oztrance.net.

The online discussion forums promote long and detailed conversations online and assist in the development of community. He stated that the forums are a form of commons - decentralized, non proprietary and collaborative, with the sharing of non rivalrous immaterial resources. He stated that the practices of the community defer to peer production, peer property and peer governance.

Peer production takes place with respect to the production of music, artwork, videos, photos, and knowledge through the collection of hyperlinks, discussion threads, music production tutorials and essays.

The creation of peer property consists of the sharing of music under conditions that enable sampling and remixing. Social norms of altruism encourage participants to surrender intellectual property rights. The forums themselves do not claim control over copyright however there is no formal copyleft licensing in place.

The sites are governed by the clustering of power through the architecture of the sites. While site managers and administrators and programmers retain some control over the site, they also delegate control by determining who can be moderators.

In Australia the scene is small in size which enables a dense trade in social capital, the development of social connections between production and consumption, DJ event producers and forum participants.

This was an excellent presentation which I found very interesting. The conflicting desire to hold the parties in a natural environment and yet for community and connections online, struck me as the use of two very different spaces by the members of this scene.

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