Daphne Carr answers the burning question: "Hey Kids, What time is it?"
("It's time for EMP")
2010 Pop Conference Call for Proposals
The Pop Machine: Music and Technology
Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
Seattle, April 15-18, 2010
Popular music might be narrated as a story of sounds and the machines that make
them. From the talking drum and parlor room piano to the Gibson Les Paul, from
the Edison phonograph to Roland 808 beatbox and Antares Autotune software, how
have popâ€™s contraptions reflected, inflected, and mediated musical history?
What changes when we start with the technology that makes the ineffable
material, and its shaping of modes of production and consumption? As we close
out a decade of momentous change at all levels of popular music, this is a
salient moment for rethinking the continual dialogue in pop between the new and
the traditional. Note: this call is not aimed only at gearheads. What counts as
human is produced in and through the use of technologies. We need to hear the
voices that wrap flesh around the wiring.
Topics can cover any era or style of music and may include, but are not limited
--Hardware: the effect of equipment on how we make, record, disseminate, and
--Business: economies of scale(s), the demand for profit in changing
--Identity: how youth culture, Afromodernism, and transgender/transsexual
personas, manufactured divas and real fem-bots, among other pop categories,
--Technology in the 2000s: iPods, computer game music, music and war, digital
technology exhuming analog artifacts.
--Aesthetics: â€œperfect sound foreverâ€ to pixelation and lossy file formats;
Computer Love erotics; power chords from amplified blues to Guitar Hero.
--â€œThe street finds its own use for thingsâ€: working class, global, racial,
and other subaltern appropriations of technology, from sound systems to rock
camps for girls.
--Bodies as technologies: the â€œnaturalâ€ as a response to changing artifices;
the voice as a modifiable tool.
--Music writing and the technological formations it rests upon.
--Anxieties and doubts: folk revivalists, roots rockers, and other
The Pop Conference at EMP|SFM, now in its ninth year, joins academics, critics,
performers, and dedicated fans in a rare common discussion. The conference is
sponsored by the American Music Partnership of Seattle (Experience Music
Project, the University of Washington School of Music, and KEXP 90.3 FM),
through a grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. This yearâ€™s program
committee members are: writer and filmmaker Raquel Cepeda, Jasen Emmons
(EMP/SFM), musician Sean Nelson, Tavia Nyongâ€™o (NYU), Lauren Onkey (Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame and Museum), Ann Powers (Los Angeles Times), Jody Rosen
(Slate), Barry Shank (Ohio State), Tyina Steptoe (University of Washington), and
Tim Taylor (UCLA).
Please send proposals of 250 words, with 50 word bio, to organizer Eric Weisbard
(University of Alabama) at Eric.Weisbard@.... Deadline for proposals is
Tuesday, December 15. Panel proposals, for either three presenters (90 minutes)
or four (105 minutes), should include overview language and 200 word individual
proposals, plus panelist bios. We welcome unorthodox proposals and proposals
aimed explicitly at a general interest audience. For more information, go to