This image is the cover for the book K-pop Live

K-pop Live

“A glittering glimpse into a pure realization of late capitalism, and . . . our collective future . . . .uncovers why K-pop is the global cultural phenomenon.” —Carol Vernallis, author of Unruly Media: YouTube, Music Video, and the New Digital Cinema

1990s South Korea saw the transition from a military dictatorship to a civilian government, from a manufacturing economy to a postindustrial hub, and from a cloistered society to a more dynamic transnational juncture. In K-pop Live, Suk-Young Kim investigates the ascent of Korean popular music in relation to the rise of personal technology and social media. Based on in-depth interviews with K-pop industry personnel, media experts, critics, and fans, as well as archival research, K-pop Live explores how the industry has managed the tough sell of live music in a marketplace in which virtually everything is available online. Teasing out digital media's courtship of "liveness" in the production and consumption of K-pop, Kim investigates the nuances of the affective mode in which human subjects interact with one another in the digital age. Observing performances online, in concert, and even through the use of holographic performers, Kim offers readers a step-by-step guide through the K-pop industry's variegated efforts to diversify media platforms as a way of reaching a wider global network of music consumers. In an era when digital technology inserts itself into nearly all social relationships, Kim reveals how "what is live" becomes a question of how we exist as increasingly mediated subjects.

“Lively insights into the complexities of the artistry and the commerce, the manufactured and the impromptu, the virtual and the somatic, and the local and the global that propel the production [and] consumption of Korean popular music today.” —Hyung-Gu Lynn, University of British Columbia

Suk-Young Kim

Suk-Young Kim is Professor of Critical Studies and the Director of the Center for Performance Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is also the author of the award-winning book DMZ Crossing: Performing Emotional Citizenship Along the Korean Border (2014). Her research and commentary have been featured on CNN and NPR.

Stanford University Press