Replicants, imposters and the real deal: Issues of non-use and technology resistance in vintage and software instruments

Claes Thorén, Andreas Kitzmann


This paper explores non-use and technology resistance among musicians and enthusiasts devoted to analog synthesizers (particularly vintage synthesizers from the 1970s), and the recent influx of software simulations that often elicit critical and negative reactions among this group of devotees. Drawing on a combination of assemblage theory and affect theory this paper presents a case study of a prominent online music community and asks: What does this particular instance of technological resistance reveal about the social construction of technology and the on-going emotional and material negotiations that constitute digital and analog experiences? Results show that the possession or appreciation of analog synthesizers and the rejection of their digital counterparts is less about composing music or playing with others and more about a solitary activity that is deeply emotional, experiential and carefully untainted by the impurity of digital processing and equipment.

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