Last Wednesday, I attended, for the fourth time, Justin Bieber‘s Australian tour. As a 13 year old in 2011, I was mesmerised by the pop star, labelling him a genius. Now, as an 18 year old, I have come to realise that, perhaps, this is not the case.
An accurate depiction of my opinion then vs now:
When comparing Justin Bieber (a mainstream pop sensation), to the likes of Japanese Vocaloid, Hatsune Miku (the result of object animation), we begin to recognise the difference between craft and commodity. Justin Bieber is, very much, a result of mass production and commodification, having become somewhat more of a brand than an individual. He is surrounded by entities that exercise control to, ultimately, profit from the brand, that is, Justin Bieber himself. This trend of the ‘assembly line‘ results in the production of certainty, leaving little room for creativity and consumer engagement.
Hatsune Miku is an open source that allows for infinite customisation through collaboration, the result is the production of risk and uncertainty in the name of craftsmanship and advocation for the changing meaning of craft in a time of digital mediation.
Thus, when a product is standardised it is targeted at the masses and loses the value of craftsmanship, but when a product is customisable, it is for the individual.