Headphone–Headset–Jetset: DJ Culture, Mobility and Science Fictions of Listening

  • Sean Nye University of Minnesota
Keywords: DJ, disc jockey, club culture, radio, headphones, cyborg, sound studies, technology, jetset


This article explores the practice of DJ performance through the use of headphones as opposed to the preferred instruments of analysis: vinyl, turntables, and mixers. It focuses on the DJ as a listener who uses headphones on stage, which complicates the traditional construction of "headphone culture" as tending toward exclusively private use. The examination of the public and private tension of the DJ on stage leads to a larger examination of the history of the "disc jockey" and headphones as intersecting with cultures of command-and-control, aviation, broadcasting, and the figure of the cyborg.
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