Raiders of the Lost Archives

Gardner, Abigail S ORCID: 0000-0003-2994-741X and Moorey, Gerard (2016) Raiders of the Lost Archives. Popular Communication, 14 (3). pp. 169-177. doi:10.1080/15405702.2016.1193181

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Fantastic Man (2014) and Searching for Sugar Man (2012) mobilize tropes of discovery occurring in the filmed process of collecting and curating the work and identities of two reluctant, elusive and resistive figures. They are part of a discourse of collectability which is marked by the urge to discover and to narrate a “quest” that has its precedents in record collecting as obsessive cultural practice (Straw, 1997; Shuker, 2012), and in the fetishizing of obscurity (Thornton, 1995; Hesmondhalgh, 1997). Furthermore, they can be seen as “performances” of the A&R process but for a “post-rock” era in which the customary roles of A&R (“artiste and repertoire”) have largely been eclipsed by social, economic and technological changes to the music industry: the “(re-)discovery” of Onyeabor and Rodriguez exemplifies an increasingly common fusion of, rather than oscillation between, novelty and nostalgia in the music industry, as “old” artists are “newly” discovered through practices of media archaeology aimed at unearthing artifacts of cultural and economic value from an ever bigger and denser digital archive.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Archives; Collecting; Discovery; Celebrity; Nostalgia; A&R; REF2021
Subjects: 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: 24 May 2016 15:48
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2023 20:09

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