Sick Subwoofer: Car Audio Culture and Affective Extremes
This paper presents a study of contemporary car audio culture as "scene" and "affect." Firstly, it explores if and how car audio culture can be understood as "scene," including how the production and consumption of car audio products is interconnected with various localised, trans-local and virtual scenes. By exploring these areas, the paper aims to identify some of the ways that car audio enthusiasts enact social meaning and identity. This is achieved through a methodological combination of cultural studies and ethnography, providing a scholarly means of engaging with car audio culture and the everyday life of its users. Secondly, the paper examines the affects that are created through various types of car audio systems, most especially those that can be considered "extreme" (in terms of volume measured in decibels, or audio fidelity measured through various means). In this area, a combination of acoustics, psychoacoustics and musicology can offer a complementary perspective on what it is about car audio culture that engages certain groups of people in car audio scenes, and how the affects of car audio culture contribute to the generation of social meaning and identity.
Australian Music Scenes