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Machine Love? – Creativity Cultures in Underground Electronic Music and Software Engineering

Machine Love? represents an attempt to get a grip on cultural transformations in underground electronic music production and software engineering via the investigation of changes in infrastructural, material and technological conditions of labour induced by visions of creative economies. While we do agree with and depart from Marion von Osten’s diagnosis that the creative economies as outlined in strategy papers of European governments drafted in the late 1990s have to date only partly materialized (von Osten 2007), we think that the creative imperative has had considerable impact on cultures of production in the selected fields. We comprehend contemporary understandings of ‘creative’ practice to be entangled especially with, e.g. media of collaboration (infrastructural), based on affective relations with materials, and framed by the technological generation and exploitation of intellectual property.

The two subprojects of Machine Love? have been conceptualized in order to find new ways of researching contemporary cultures of production. We seek to be empirical by combining historical (forensic) investigation, ethnographic techniques and practice-based experience to gather evidence and make research public. It is our goal to contribute to the ongoing anthropology of late-modern societies in cultural studies and social science and to be fatihful to experience by modifying our tools in deliberations with our objects.