Cigar box guitar forums: Fostering competency, creativity and connectedness in communities of practice and performance

ATKINSON, Paul (2021). Cigar box guitar forums: Fostering competency, creativity and connectedness in communities of practice and performance. In: NISSEN, Nils F. and JAEGER-ERBEN, Melanie, (eds.) PLATE 2019 conference proceedings. Berlin, PLATE, 39-43.

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This paper analyses research carried out into a particular group of makers whose DIY activities are centred on the creation, dissemination and performance of home-made musical instruments in the form of cigar box guitars. As objects that are based almost exclusively on notions of recycling, reuse and upcycling, cigar box guitars extend the life of component parts that would otherwise be discarded, but also, as hand-crafted labours of love, the resulting instruments are often used for extended periods, being added to, altered and reconfigured over time as new components become available and the makers’ skills improve. This community of makers more often than not carry out their making practices in isolation, meeting in person only at festivals and concerts where performance with the home-made instruments takes place. For many, this activity is their first foray into creative production of any kind, and often, they need to find solutions to problems they encounter in the making of their instruments. Because of the solitary nature of the activity, these makers make extensive use of online forums and networks to become part of a community of practice, openly sharing their knowledge and experience to help each other, and to celebrate their achievements of productive labour. It is argued that the use of social media in this way is directly linked to the extension of product lifetimes of the objects made.

Item Type: Book Section
Identification Number:
Page Range: 39-43
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2019 11:28
Last Modified: 17 May 2021 12:00

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