UNIVERSITY OF THESSALY - DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY ARCHAEOLOGY AND SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY
Folk culture constructs (and reconstructs) practices, production norms, forms and social relationships, in a complicated process of changes, interconnected with different historical circumstances and multiple economical and social substratums. The (re)presentation of such a process (or part of such a process) is interconnected with an entirely different economic and social context. Put on, the production of an audio CD representing traditional folk music presupposes funding; recording in a more or less “sterilized” environment (i.e. in a studio or by the use of specific equipment); selection of tracks by “specialists”; finally, distribution to a wide range of audience, that a part of it may be not accustomed at all with such music. Thus, the context of this practice of representation (i.e. audio CD production) differs radically from the corresponding context defining folk musicians performing in a local festival, when they choose what and how they will play, in interaction with an audience of participants experiencing the same musical culture as them.
Moreover, the modern digital network forms of representation (i.e. Web-sites, Portals, and WEB Databases), which substitute gradually the older analog forms of representation (i.e. books, films, e.g.) or even the digital forms of autonomous applications (CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, e.g.), tend to conform emphatically to the necessities (requirements) of design, architecture of information, graphic design, easy access to certain data, and the connection with broader communicative networks, sometimes at a point transcending their subject. The focus then is on issues of promotion; and issues of promotion are interconnected with communicative dynamics. So, the field of communication emerges as a privileged field for the study of the different aspects and versions of production and reproduction of folk culture. In an attempt to interpret such a process we apply a systemic approach focusing on the communicative systems which mediate the process of the transformation of the content of a cultural practice into a representation, and the dissemination and diffusion of the representative forms as well.