Distributed Personhood and the Multiple Biography

  • Sophia MaalsenEmail author


This chapter discusses the concepts raised in the previous chapters, particularly the notion of the alternative forms of personhood that are encouraged by and distributed through music. In this way it inverts the question of ownership from who owns what to what owns who, for the human, bodily bound, possessive individual has been usurped by a multibiographical music, like cyborg, which denies the sound object status as mere object and the human agent its position as the sole possessor of agency. This presents an obvious tension between the individual defined in terms of copyright and the subject/object that is emerging from the marriage of the human agent/sound object/technology. Alternative options for property law and its application to the regulation of music-making are discussed. Consequently, the chapter argues that copyright legislation needs to acknowledge the connections and alternative ways of being in and through music, before it can begin to sufficiently accommodate contemporary music-making practices.


  1. Australian Law Reform Commission. (2012). Copyright and the digital economy, Issues Paper 42. Issues Paper, ALRC, Sydney.Google Scholar
  2. Battaglia, D. (1994). Retaining reality: Some practical problems with objects as property. Man, 29(3), 631–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benthien, C. (2002). Skin: On the cultural border between self and world. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bloch, M. (1985). Marxism and anthropology: The history of a relationship. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Blomster, W. (1977). Electronic music. Telos, 32, 65–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Braidotti, R. (1997). Meta(l)morphoses. Theory, Culture & Society, 14(2), 67–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Braidotti, R. (2006). Posthuman, all too human. Theory, Culture & Society, 23(7–8), 197–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brody, A., & Schirato, T. (2011). Understanding Judith Butler. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  9. Brown, L. (2007). Becoming-Animal in the flesh: Expanding the ethical reach of Deleuze and Guattari’s tenth plateau. PhaenEx, 2(2), 260–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bryant, L. R. (2011). A logic of multiplicities: Deleuze, immanence, and onticology. Analecta Hermeneutica, 3, 1–20.Google Scholar
  11. Buchli, V. (2004). Material culture: Current problems. In L. Meskell & R. Preucel (Eds.), A companion to social archaeology (pp. 179–194). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  12. Buckle, S. (1991). Natural law. In P. Singer (Ed.), A companion to ethics (pp. 161–174). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  13. Butler, J. ([1990] 2006). Gender trouble. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Chapman, O. B. (2011). The elusive allure of “Aura”: Sample-based music and Benjamin’s practice of quotation. Canadian Journal of Communication, 36, 243–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chislenko, A. (1995). Legacy systems and functional cyborgization of humans. Retrieved from
  16. Cockburn, C., & Omrod, S. (1993). Gender and technology in the making. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Conkey, M. W., & Gero, J. (1997). Programme to practice: Gender and feminism in archaeology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 26, 411–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1983). Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  19. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  20. Demain, M. (2001). Claims without rights: Stable objects and transient owners in Suau. Paper presented to ASA conference “Intellectual and Cultural Property Rights”, Sussex.Google Scholar
  21. Gosden, C. (2004). The past and foreign countries: Colonial and post-colonial archaeology and anthropology. In L. Meskell & R. Preucel (Eds.), A companion to social archaeology (pp. 161–178). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  22. Hables Gray, C. (2001). Cyborg citizen: Politics in the posthuman age. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hables Gray, C., & Mentor, S. (1995). The cyborg body politic. In C. Hables Gray, S. Mentor, & H. Figueroa-Sarriera (Eds.), The cyborg handbook (pp. 453–465). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Haraway, D. (1988). Situated knowledges: The science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective. Feminist Studies, 14(3), 575–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Haraway, D. (1991). Simians, cyborgs, and women: The reinvention of nature. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  26. Johnstone, C. (2003). Underground appeal: A sample of the chronic questions in copyright law pertaining to transformative use of digital music in a civil society. Southern California Law Review, 77, 397–432.Google Scholar
  27. Jones, S. (2002). Music that moves: Popular music, distribution and network technologies. Cultural Studies, 16(2), 213–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Knappett, C. (2005). Thinking through material culture: An interdisciplinary perspective. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Knappett, C. (2010). Communities of things and objects: A spatial perspective. In L. Malafouris & C. Renfrew (Eds.), The cognitive life of things: Recasting the boundaries of the mind (pp. 81–89). Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.Google Scholar
  30. Kwan, M. P. (2002). Feminist visualization: Re-envisioning GIS as a method in feminist geographic research. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 92(4), 645–661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Latour, B. (1993). We have never been modern. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  32. Le Breton, D. (2001). Anthropolgie du corps modernité (2nd ed.). Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  33. Leach, J. (2002). Drum and voice: Aesthetics and social process on the Rai Coast of Papua New Guinea. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 8(4), 713–734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Leakey, L. S., Tobias, P. V., & Napier, J. R. (1964). A new species of the genus homo from Olduvai Gorge. Nature, 202(4927), 7–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Levi, P. (1979). If this is a man/the truce. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  36. LiPuma, E. (1998). Modernity and forms of personhood in Melanesia. In M. Lambek & A. Strathern (Eds.), Bodies and persons: Comparative perspectives from Africa and Melanesia (pp. 53–79). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Malafouris, L., & Renfrew, C. (2010). The cognitive life of things: Archaeology, material engagement and the extended mind. In L. Malafouris & C. Renfrew (Eds.), The cognitive life of things: Recasting the boundaries of the mind (pp. 1–12). Cambridge: MacDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.Google Scholar
  38. Mauss, M. ([1935] 1973). Techniques of the body. Economy and Society, 2(1), 70–88.Google Scholar
  39. McClary, S. (1991). Feminine endings: Music, gender, and sexuality. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  40. Miller, D. (Ed.). (2005). Materiality. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Moist, K. (2008). “To renew the old world”: Record collecting as cultural production. Studies in Popular Culture, 31(1), 99–122.Google Scholar
  42. O’Regan, K. (2009). Downloading personhood: A Hegelian theory of copyright law. Canadian Journal of Law and Technology, 7(1), 1–40.Google Scholar
  43. Oldenziel, R. (1994). Of old and new cyborgs: Feminist narratives of technology. Letterature D’America, 14(55), 95–111.Google Scholar
  44. Oldenziel, R. (1996). Object/ions: Technology, culture and gender. In W. D. Kingery (Ed.), Learning from things: Method and theory in material culture studies (pp. 55–69). Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.Google Scholar
  45. Petchesky, R. P. (1995). The body as property: A feminist revision. In F. D. Ginsburg & R. Rapp (Eds.), Conceiving the new world order (pp. 387–405). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  46. Porter, A. (2010). Making a case for sharing: An analysis of music copyright, new technologies, and how creative commons and netlabels are facilitating a free music culture on the web. Master of Science Degree thesis, Southern Illinois University.Google Scholar
  47. Radin, M. J. (1996). Property evolving in cyberspace. Journal of Law and Commerce, 15(2), 509–526.Google Scholar
  48. Renold, E. (2006). ‘They won’t let us play … unless you’re going out with one of them’: Girls, boys and Butler’s ‘heterosexual matrix’ in the primary years. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 27(4), 489–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Reynolds, S. (2011). Retromania: Pop culture’s addiction to its own past. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  50. Robb, J. (2009). The body in history. In A. Herle, M. Elliot, & R. Empson (Eds.), Assembling bodies: Art, science and imagination (pp. 28–29). Cambridge: Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
  51. Ruiz de la Torre, C. (2005). Digital Music sampling and copyright law: Can the interests of copyright owners and sampling artists be reconciled? Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment Law and Practice, 7(3), 401–409.Google Scholar
  52. Seeger, A. (2004). The selective protection of musical ideas: The “creations” and the dispossessed. In K. Verdery & C. Humphrey (Eds.), Property in question: Value transformation in the global economy (pp. 69–83). Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  53. Stock, G. (2002). Redesigning humans: Choosing our children’s genes. London: Profile Books.Google Scholar
  54. Strathern, A., & Lambek, M. (1998). Introduction embodying sociality: Africanist–Melanesianist comparisons. In A. Strathern & M. Lambek (Eds.), Bodies and persons (pp. 1–25). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Strathern, M. (1988). The gender of the gift. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  56. Strathern, M. (2006). Divided origins and the arithmetic of ownership. In B. Maurer & G. Schwab (Eds.), Accelerating possession: Global futures of property and personhood (pp. 134–173). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Tobias, P. V. (1965). Australopithecus, Homo habilis, tool-using and tool-making. The South African Archaeological Bulletin, 20(80), 167–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Whatmore, S. (1997). Dissecting the autonomous self: Hybrid cartographies for a relational ethics. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 15(1), 37–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Architecture, Design and PlanningUniversity of SydneyCamperdownAustralia

Personalised recommendations