/v/IRAL /v/IDEO /d/ISCO: Interview with Alan Hook


Alan Hook has degrees in both Fine Art and Creative Technologies. In recent years he has taught at the University of Ulster, where he is currently Course Director of the Interactive Media Arts program. I recently met Alan while working with alongside him as a fellow external examiner. In his research, he is interested on new modes of consumption, playful mediated experiences, social networks and spreadable media. He has published research on alternate reality gaming. Alan also has the coolest collection of watches of any academic that I know!

What makes Alan’s research relevant to this blog is that he has created a unique club night called /v/IRAL /v/IDEO /d/ISCO.

 /v/IRAL /v/IDEO /d/ISCO is staged in a room with a large projection screen (no visible DJ) and a dance floor. It is a party / club night focused on the results of an online video aggregation experiment. That is novel and it reminds us that the focus in popular music has shifted somewhat from content to context. More clearly than ever, music distribution is now a highly significant place for the development of musical meaning. According to the project’s Tumblr page: “The /v/IRAL /v/IDEO /d/ISCO is not a video installation, it is not a work of art, it is not a comment on remix culture, the status of medium inside visual culture, an exploration of the spaces between club culture and the internet or a piece of research into the blurring of media boundaries.” … But in a sense, though, /v/IRAL /v/IDEO /d/ISCO IS all those things!

In this series of videos Alan answers questions about his innovative installation / club night. His answers provide some fascinating insights on topics such authorship, originality, and the way that music consumption differs in private and public:

Where did the idea for /v/IRAL /v/IDEO /d/ISCO come from?
How important is the life collective experience to
/v/IRAL /v/IDEO /d/ISCO?
Where does /v/IRAL /v/IDEO /d/ISCO exist?
Is it a DJ set? A performance? What is it?
When you show the project as the creator or curator, where are you?
In the club, do people know that this is your research project?
And if they do, do they care?
Wait… this stuff is on YouTube.
Where does /v/IRAL /v/IDEO /d/ISCO exist? Is it a DJ set?
A performance? What is it?
Do traditional questions of authorship and originality still matter?
Are these still important questions?