Digital music is extending physical (analogue) and musical (remix, sampled) boundaries, across places (geographically) and spaces (public and private).  Sterne (2006) bemoans that in academic literature the study of sound gets ignored: within academic circles, most of the attention in the context of digitality is focusing on imagery. YouTube manages to treat uploads as ‘entities’, without apparent discrimination, in as far that images and sounds receive the same interface: at times,  fans upload moving images on other occasions, uploads will be sound files, accompanied by a single image. Sterne (2006,p.19) reflects on the making of the movie 'The Matrix' which first saw the special technique of ‘image sampling’: images are shot from real life situations, digitised into a computer, and scenes are then recreated virtually. YouTube can be seen as performing the same function: live music footage (analogue and digital) gets uploaded, and re-appropiated into computer-generated environments. As Sterne suggests, virtuality has become multi-sensory. I would like to suggest that YouTube can be a digital video sampling tool, shot from different angles, many phone cameras taking images of the same live performance, a visual treat, although not every footage is necessarily of the same quality but that the music fan may ignore.

Grusin (2009, p. 61) defines YouTube’s ‘remediality’ through 'the immedicay of its extensive, seemingly global monitoring and through the hypermediacy of its multiple network of YouTube users, bloggers, news media and social networkers and so forth'.
These concepts of 'remediality', 'immediacy' and 'hypermediacy' which Grusin, and his co-author Jay David Bolter,  put forward are complex (see this blog for an explanatory note), and in essence relate to how users (including music fans) interact with online environments, the interfaces on offer (the screen-to-face) and the manipulation of any gadgets involved. This 'triangle of assemblage' allows for a temporary suspension of real life condition, and activates a simulation, a superimposition of proximity to the musical artifact: a live performance, an old video, an interview, a remix of a track.

However, as Grusin (2009, p. 66) points out, moving on from Jenkins’s suggestion of media convergence, the seamlessly interconnected network of data, media, forms and things does not stop with re-purposing of any kind of media into its digital equivalent. Today we have a proliferation of many different media forms for interacting with the network, different appliances such as phones, consoles, PCs, laptops, pads etc which all carry an increased proliferation of interconnected media interfaces (not only YouTube but the variety of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter etc. ) and ‘leaving as many traces  of yourself on as many media becomes a culturally desirable goal’. Creating these active feedback loops through liking, re-posting, commenting thus contributes to the perpetuation of the music fan’s pleasurable experience.  Where we used to have a convergence of mass media, we now see a 'divergence of audience and message, temporarily and territorially fostering multiple points of view, a network 'long tail' embedded in thousands of  channels. (p. 66) YouTube is thus convergence and divergence simultaneously, a temporal perspective. As Burgess and Green (2009) suggest, 'YouTube reinforces not representation of reality, but technologies of representation.' (p. 41) 

Interestingly, Tredennick’s(2008) second feature of digital culture, following on from the participatory functionality, relates to the digital culture’s impact on the ‘narrative’. For the YouTube music fan, we have the ultimate act of separation, where narratives are dislocated. Uploading a video and providing comments (when ‘signed up’ in the YouTube community) offers access to the YouTube ‘glocality’ (Martin Hand, 2008, p. 23) Yet, re-appropriating the same video upload onto another blog (including this one) a website or Facebook and Twitter, disrupts the comment feed, with a narrative dis-located, in between online spaces, deterritorialised from its initial territorialisation.
This assembling and re-assembling of images, connected and disconnected within their narratives, allows for a continuous interpretation, a narrative never complete and at times lost.

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