Vice TV’s cabinet of curios

Gardner, Abigail S ORCID: 0000-0003-2994-741X (2014) Vice TV’s cabinet of curios. In: MeCCSA annual conference January 2014. (Unpublished)

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True Norwegian Black Metal (2008) is a documentary following the career of Gogoroth, a Norwegian Black Metal Band. Made by and streamed on Vice TV, it follows an ‘immersive’ journalistic style to narrate the story of the band and its leader, Grahl. Vice TV is part of a multi-platform media enterprise that claims to present a different viewpoint to that of the mainstream. Drawing on Benjamin’s Arcades Project, this paper considers both ‘how’ Vice represents such marginal musical subcultures - and ‘where’ these then sit – arguing that this is now crucial to considering what might be at stake. Vice’s reportage freeze frames subcultures as curios in a digital display cabinet (called ‘Music World’) with no sense of chronology or context beyond that of ‘place’ and this paper asks what the implications of this might be, especially where the margins come to represent ‘nation’, in this case, Norway. TNBM is threaded through with tropes that have peppered much mainstream mass media treatment of subcultures. Vice’s film perpetuates what Hebdige noted were the representative strategies of visual and broadcast media. In ‘Posing…threats…, Striking…Poses: Youth Surveillance and Display’ (1983) he refers to the ways in which representations of Skinheads marked them out as ‘our Africa’s’, focusing on the explanatory function of documentary photography and how it worked as a method of negotiating the ‘threats’ and display’ exemplified by youth subcultural ‘Others.’ Despite a self proclaimed marginality, Vice TV remains focused on spectacle and voyeurism. Its representations and their on-line location fix marginal musical and subcultural voices in a voyeuristic ahistorical archive that works to negate the sound of their voices at the expense of the decontextualised spectacle of their rebellion.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Creative Practice and Theory
Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Abigail Gardner
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2015 10:45
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2023 20:24

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