The Anti-Pod: After Michael Bull's "Iconic Designs: the Apple iPod"

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The branding of pleasure is ubiquitous, constituting one of those instances of modern life in which criticism seems humorless and heavy handed, while the ease with which consumer items insinuate themselves lightly suggests their being utterly innate. In this response to Michael Bull's warm reception of the iPod there is a sense of distrust at the emotional range the device (and its merchandising) engenders; it takes issue with the kinds of material and affective junctures that are called into being at the point at which the device stops being simply a tool for listening to music. What does it mean to tether one's enjoyment so firmly to a particular form or brand of product? By briefly raising Marx's work on the monetary economy and Adorno on the mass consumption of music, this review ponders whether there is room for both the social bond and the iPod in our pockets.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2006

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