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DJ Epistemology: Producing and Knowing

Artists, designers, developers, investors, entrepreneurs, and academics throw around the term “remix,” rarely considering what this indicates about changes in our epistemologies. Although originating with the rise of digital music production tools, “remix” has emerged as a pop culture phenomenon, a presence in the popular lexicon with usages that extend far outside of music.
As terms formerly reserved for DJs and producers permeate discourse on topics that ostensibly have nothing to do with music, we must ask what this indicates about the nature of knowledge. When learners engage with content and media increasingly as creators, the predominant pedagogical framework of public school, the vessel model of education, continues to break down. Through a survey of emerging technologies, pedagogy, and his own research, Zach will argue that music production technologies have engendered a new epistemology, presenting opportunities to design new and more meaningful learning experiences.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. How have digital music production technologies shaped the way we understand the nature of knowledge?
  2. How do we acquire new knowledge now in the age of the “remix?”
  3. Can we design technologies and interfaces for learning that take advantage of this epistemological shift?
  4. Can we help learners, through processes of unbundling, rebundling, connection and categorization, create meaningful knowledge for themselves?
  5. What is the relationship between sampling and scholarly reference, and how do footnotes change in a world of perpetual and deeply layered re-creation?



Zach Kaiser, Graduate Student, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

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