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I'm Real When I Shop My Face
Hyperpop, Libido, and Finance Capitalism
SOPHIE and A.G. Cook at the Pop 2 live release in London. Via Dazed Magazine.
“Another Pleasant Valley Sunday / Charcoal burning everywhere / Rows of houses that are all the same / And no one seems to care.” Thus decries “Pleasant Valley Sunday”, the 1967 single by Los Angeles band The Monkees. The song goes on to describe the artifice of American suburbia, the discontented ennui of the housewife, the usage of status symbols to mask a lack of any real fulfilment. A Cheeverite social commentary, the song acts as a relatively simple critique of the post-war American middle class. But the “Pleasant Valley Sunday” wasn’t the lament of the group of disaffected young men behind the music—the song was written by Gerry Coffin and Carole King for the sitcom The Monkees, the fictional television show that created the fictional band. “Pleasant Valley Sunday” was a plot point in an established storyline, a prewritten act of rebellion modelled after the standards and conventions of the culture industry at the time.
The factory-like production of popular music and popular musicians is not bound to the contemporary institutions of the Disney Chanel and South Korea’s YG Entertainment. As long as a musician’s success is tied to their commercial reach, capital within the cultural industry will construct its own icons. It wasn’t just the Monkees who were a group of carefully planned musicians tied together to maximize profit, Barry Gordy and his aptly named Hitsville U.S.A. had an almost scientific formula for churning out commercially successful groups like The Supremes and the Jackson 5. Though standards for what to wear, how to act, and what to transgress have changed, some remain pervasive: remain sexy without being sexual, feminine without being cartoonish, and relatable without being common.
The pop star is a form of celebrity, known not only for their notoriety (stemming from their recognisability or ubiquity) but also for their adherence— or, at times, nonadherence— to a set of standards defined by the needs of a culture and its capital operators. The Girl Next Door Gone Bad is one of the most formulaic moulds for the pop star to take, entering the market with a family or radio friendly image whose breach results in tabloid attention, a good girl image ready to be rehabilitated after the scandal money has run dry. Child actors do particularly well in this genre, the likes of Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato. They are singers before they are artists—particularly pop musicians who have no hand in the writing, composing, or producing their music—and products before they are singers. Like all products, their purpose is to sell. It then follows that the relationship between these figures and the public is not one of artist-audience, but commodity-consumer, echoing Andrea Frazer’s performance art piece Official Welcome in which she states, “I am not a person today. I’m an object in an artwork.” As such, the consumer of the product of pop music must find fetishistic value in its consumption, the audience must believe that the material success of the pop star and the semiotic references imbued in their music are cultural necessities to be bought into for the validation of the consumer. Then the individual pop star must be both a solitary beacon of individual exceptionalism and the amalgamation of capitalist desire for rewarded labour. Or, as Adorno and Horkheimer put it, “the liquidation of the individual is the real signature of the new musical situation.”
As of 2019, the “Big Three” record labels—Universal, Sony, and Warner—made up a combined 90% of the market share. The consolidation and monopolization of the music market has led to further standardization of their product, pop music. The female faces of pop music are empowered without being radical, sexual without being aggressive, and authentic while remaining aspirational. The music itself is equally redundant with a limited rotation of chords, producers, and lyrical motifs—take, for example, the controversy that surrounded Ariana Grande’s 2019 single “7 Rings”. The musician Princess Nokia was quick to lambast Grande for purportedly stealing the song’s flow from one of her 2017 single, “Mine”, before Grande’s fans pointed out that the flow of “Mine” was almost identical to Soulja Boy’s 2010 classic, “Pretty Boy Swag”. There is further irony in that both “Pretty Boy Swag” and “7 Rings” were released by Universal and that the track interpolates “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music and “Gimme the Loot” by The Notorious B.I.G. Plagiarized or not, the song is almost entirely composed of sounds derived from previously released music including from the label Grande is signed to. In Fredric Jameson’s 2015 essay “The Aesthetics of Singularity”, he points out the obsolescence of the idea of the derivative in an abstracted capitalist economy. Major label record releases are not only pieces of art, they are tools by which shareholders can determine the value of their holdings and investments. As such, all music is the same in its ontological purpose and its sonic qualities are subsidiary. If anything, the association with music previously granted commercial or critical success becomes an asset to its profitability and homogeneity is encouraged and rewarded.
The music industry (as well as the broader culture industry) could perhaps best be imagined as a sort of meat grinder. A mix of musical standards that prove timelessly successful, technologies that refine and perfect for human error, alignment with mainstream social values, and appropriated influences from queer, Black, or otherwise marginalized musical culture are combined, the output being a homogenous gloop that can be reshaped and packaged depending on the needs of capital. Jameson defines this phenomenon as Singularity, the intersection of a political economy that seeks to create the most palatable and therefore profitable cultural artifacts, the monopolization of industry into a handful of large corporations, and the emerging technologies that allow a shallow pool of capitalists to create a universal taste and product. He writes, “whence at one and the same time, in theory, the proliferation of semiotic speculation as well, and of myriad concepts of the sign, the simulacrum, the image, spectacle society, immaterialities of all kinds, very much including the current hegemonic ideologies of language and communication.”
But what if that product, the mystery meat of the music industry, was pushed farther? What would the platonic ideal, the chrome-plated pop star, the extremity of homogeneity came to its conclusion? The resulting product may well be the genre of hyperpop, the work of P.C. Music, and its brightest star, SOPHIE.
P.C. Music was founded in 2013 in London as both a record label and artist collective by the musician and producer A.G. Cook. Though the sound of PC Music is undoubtably contemporary, there is almost something Victorian about the label—its decadent grime and at times confrontational and grating urban sounds assist its inherently transgressive socio-political message about the roles its authors and audiences occupy.
SOPHIE was, undoubtedly, a pop star. “Pop music” is not short for “popular music.” Its denotation and etymology certainly are, but “pop”, at least in its contemporary usage, is more of a descriptor of the interaction between an aesthetic and a marketplace than of popular interest. SOPHIE’s music is feminine, heavily manufactured, and lyrically and sonically premised on the idea of desire, both sexual and material. These themes are so explicit, so overt, that the music takes on an uncanny quality. If the traditional pop star attempts to reach plasticine perfection, SOPHIE has been the first to achieve it.
P.C. Music’s simultaneous embrace and subversion of pop are not only found in the work of SOPHIE. The motif of the ultrafeminine materialist is a recurring theme across the label’s output. easyFUN’s “Be Your USA” (2018) features the vocals of Iiris lamenting, “I don’t want to be your USA / never gonna be your everything / I just want to be your music, oh oh / take me away” and the hook of “Hey QT”, a 2014 collaboration between A.G. Cook, SOPHIE, and Hayden Dunham combining Dunham’s pitched-up vocals with the lyrics, “There’s something I want to say / I feel your hands on my body / Every time you think of me.” QT was marketed as both a musical project and soft drink, with the song’s debut performance featuring a disinterested-looking Dunham passively lip syncing the lyrics while reading a fashion magazine. The hyperpop artist is both producer and object, transparent in their transformation between the two roles. The stylings become the substance, music made up of the same cellophane it is packaged and sold in.
The language and sounds of SOPHIE’s music are material: rubber, plasticine, wires and cables packaged so tightly that SOPHIE’s 2015 debut album was named Product. SOPHIE’s work emphasises above all else a relationship to manufacturing: every sound being built “from scratch” by SOPHIE in Ableton, an attachment to an industrial and artificial landscape totally removed from the organic, and a complex relationship with the idea of manufactured womanhood, femininity, and relationships. Product then becomes the summation of process, sounds, and lyrics by which to explore these ideas perhaps best combined on the album’s fourth track, “Hard”.
“Hard” opens with a metal clang, underscored by SOPHIE’s signature squishing noises. It sounds somewhere between a construction site and a ketamine overdose at a gay nightclub, both uncomfortable and familiar, possessing an urban urgency that can only be felt in the most industrialised of spaces. The lyrics further these feelings of dissonant, drilling desire— the pitched-up vocals of Polly-Louisa Salmon (better known under her stage name GFOTY ) announce “latex gloves, smack so hard / PVC, I get so hard / Platform shoes, kick so hard / Ponytail, yank so hard.” Part of the track’s brilliance comes not only from the continuation of industrial phonics into the lyrics, with its mention of latex, PVC, and later rubber and silicone, but that these tools are placed in conversation with images of gender and sexuality. The building materials, the apparatuses of construction, fabrication, artifice, are the same forces that construct and reenforce ideas of being within gender and sexual confines. They are at once rigid, femininity being the world of covering oneself in latex and platform shoes and desperation (“Do I make you proud? / I try so hard.”) and elastic— the idea of hardness being one of emotion and materiality but also of direct, literally erect sexuality.
In “Hard” and throughout Product, something is left unresolved. The phonics, or sound-based aesthetics, of industrial construction and the lyrics of emotional wanting suggest a movement, a desire, action reaching towards something that is never actualized. Hyperpop is active in that it is perpetual and unfulfilled, mirroring the needs of neoliberal capital to always be building and to ensure its subjects are always wanting; the unresolved signifies aspiration towards acquisition. It would be a misnomer to call these phonics “futuristic” as they can only be contextualized by the current libidinal economy. It is not insignificant that P.C. Music was born out of London —London serves as the centre of international finance capital, home to over a third of the planet’s international finance workers and site of a largely speculative property market that makes the city one of the world’s most expensive real estate markets.  London is economically and physically (by way of property development) structured to serve the needs of a financialized world, and as economic systems divorce themselves from utilitarian and symbolic value, the role of machine and industry becomes not to create objects but to create value.  As the quest for capital and profit is ongoing, the goal of the machine is not to produce but to be producing, its continual growth taking prescience over the actualization of product. Hyperpop, as exemplified by Product, is unresolved because contemporary neoliberal finance capital does not aspire to resolution. There are always new developments to be built, new products to buy, new technologies to patent, new ways to want. Within these economic systems, workers are not expected to desire ownership or community or fulfilment. Instead, they are simply expected to desire, to remain unfulfilled, to remain vassals for manipulation of what is to be desired by markets.
Femininity and producthood are inextricable in the work of P.C. Music. The vehicle of electronica becomes necessary practice to examine and satirize the ways in which identity has become tied to commodity and consumption. Electronic music is inorganic, it is constructed, it is built and manipulated in ways that acoustic sound cannot be. Likewise, femininity and the idea of “womanhood” is an industrial construction, a system of expectations based on their perceived utility to the mechanic structures of capital, patriarchy, white supremacy, et cetera. In the 1935 essay, “The Work of Art In the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, Walter Benjamin observes that “the apparatus that mediates the performance of the screen actor to the audience is not obliged to respect that performance as an entity. Guided by its operator, the camera comments on the performance continuously.”  Benjamin’s juxtaposition of the stage and the screen mirrors the relation between acoustic and synthesised music— it is exactly the apparatus of the camera or machine that intentionally makes itself apparent, artificial, a manipulation of both time and space in its obvious intemporality. The artist’s preliminary job is not to entertain the audience, but to entertain the machine. The obviousness of the apparatus of electronic synthesis in hyperpop reenforces the idea that gender and sexual identity are constructed in relation to wider power structures, making them both fallible and flexible in their inorganic nature. Marshall McLuhan observed this in the 1960s, noting that “Electric circuitry confers a mythic dimension on our individual and group actions. Our technology forces us to live mythically, but we continue to think fragmentarily.”  The usage of electronica becomes liberatory, an apparatus in which the producer can reject the confines of the “organic” world in favour of a new geography where all realities are equally manufactured .
Product was released not only as an album, but also as an object.The object Product is a “skin safe odourless and tasteless platinum and silicone product” resembling a sex toy, though it bears little resemblance to human genitalia; it is the same expression of manufacturing and sexual desire as the LP. The album opens with the lyrics “I can make you feel / I can make you feel / I can make you feel / If you let me”, obvious in innuendo but also never definitively or solely sexual. Throughout Product, there is an ambiguity between sexual connection and communal connection, a feeling of acceptance found by way not of sexual action but of sexual expression. Combined with the continued references to materialism in the album, Product becomes the urtext for jouissance in hyperpop. If pleasure is to be derived from both the consumption of the detached commodity (commodity fetishism) as well as the achievement of sexual gratification, then it behoves the interests of capital for all commodities to possess libidinal value. Under a libidinal economy, the purpose of art as commodity must then be two-fold: the artist must mirror and articulate the desires of the consumer while also fulfilling the consumer’s need to have the commodity exchange of “culture” validate the labour output required to interact with cultural commodities. The conventions of hyperpop as a medium show this relationship laid bare, the consumer innately aware of the act of consumption of a product both manufactured and libidinal.
Like many radical forms of art, hyperpop was initially rejected by the mainstream before being folded into its commercial structures and severed from its original context. In a now-deleted article published in The FADER in 2014, “Feminine Appropriation Was 2014’s Biggest Electronic Music Trend”, author Steph Kretowicz shows both an understanding of hyperpop as a vehicle for satire on commercial femininity and a gross negligence regarding transforming notions of gender identity. Kretowicz begins by asserting, almost entirely unfounded, that SOPHIE is a man and that the artist’s now iconic Boiler Room set “underlined his nominal gender play by employing a trans woman to stand in for him.” In fact, it was SOPHIE at the Boiler Room and not a stand in and Kretowicz’s motivation for believing otherwise is unclear. Kretowicz at times seems to perfectly understand the goals of hyperpop, noting that PC Music “built its success on a hyper-feminine aesthetic that teeters towards parody”. She refers to the pitched-up vocals of hyperpop as “cartoonish” and playing off historic gender stereotypes, both true observations, but in doing so “the men of PC Music and Sophie are literally colonizing the female body and using it as an instrument for projecting their own agenda.”
Kretowicz’s article embodies the spirit of neoliberal cultural criticism: not only is there is something innate to womanhood that can be appropriated, but that thing is femininity, certain tonal inflections, and a desire for acceptance. The article then argues that the usage of these characteristic by people perceived to be men is equivalent to the physically violent intergenerational terror of colonialism. There is no space in hyperpop for femininity to be questioned, or when there is, it becomes the malicious doing of A.G. Cook rather than the agency of the female artists he represents. Femininity becomes a state of victimhood, a system of biological and social indicators whose usage is solely for the expression of pain or as a backdrop for acts of violence. Kretowicz’s article is nearly eight years old, and as the hyperpop movement has continues it has become actively defined by the role that trans artists, particularly trans women, play in shaping the sounds and stylings of the genre.
Hyperpop has always been tongue-in-cheek, satiric, cartoonish—the distillation of traditional popular music and iconography to a point of caricature, illuminating a fragility in the way that idealized femininity and commercialism operates. Kim Petras, a hyperpop artist from Germany, made headlines before her music career began when became she the youngest person in the world to receive gender confirmation surgery at age sixteen. Her first single, “I Don’t Want It All” was an ode to materialism by way of designer clothing and vacations in the Hamptons. SOPHIE’s sophomore album, Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides, contains two seemingly contradictory tracks. “Faceshopping”, the second song on the album, contains the lyrics “I’m real when I shop my face” and “Synthesize the real / plastic surgery / social dialect / positive results”. Yet on the penultimate track, “Immaterial”, SOPHIE sings “Immaterial boys, immaterial girls / We’re just immaterial, I can be anything I want.” Both SOPHIE and Kim Petras, along with many other hyperpop artists, toy with motifs of shopping and consumerism, something Kretowicz’s article misidentifies as mockery of womanhood. But it is just the opposite-- It is not the consumption of goods that defines one’s identity, but rather the act of consuming. If it is possible to acquire signifiers of femininity and womanhood, whether they be surgical or material, then gender is not innate or biological but social. And by resituating one’s social identity by realigning one’s material surroundings, a transient, fluid, post-gender reality is not only possible but in fact the current reality only masked by intentional political obscuring. Hyperpop’s embrace of the machine as liberatory and a site of perpetual flux makes it a cyberfeminist product, embodying Sadie Plant’s writing for Cultures of Internet,
There is no authentic or essential woman up ahead, no self to be reclaimed from some long-lost past, nor even a potential subjectivity to be constructed in the present day. Nor is there only an absence or lack. Instead, there is a virtual reality, an emergent process for which identity is not the goal but the enemy, precisely what has kept at bay the matrix of potentialities from which women have always downloaded their roles. 
And so electronic, industrial noise as pop music becomes the vehicle for fluidity in a post-Fordist world. It is not beyond the human or otherworldly, but instead a distillation of the culture industry. It is carefully constructed, not given the grace that comes with the faults of nature, meticulously pored over. Its confrontation mirrors the aggressive and ever-present construction of the modern city, reaching for some abstract finality that does not arrive. Perpetual wanting, the state of desire as a goal in and of itself . Identity as a semiotic political object, one that prioritises the state of fluidity rather than the definitive.
To return to Jameson, it is the intemporality of hyperpop that defines its unique origins and philosophies from the rest of the current music landscape. In so many ways, hyperpop exists “not as a work or a style, nor even as the expression of something deeper, but rather as a strategy (or a recipe)—a strategy for producing an event, a recipe for events.” It is fundamentally contemporary, a product saturated in the political economy it was born out of, self-referentially soured by its oversaturation of the language and semiotics of singularity. It is “not a collection of images, but a social relation among people, mediated by images.”  The interplay between satire and confessionalism that arises through hyperpop’s expression of desire has been transformative and ground-breaking for its artists, audiences, and the music industry. But like so many radical artistic movements before it, hyperpop has been subsumed into the mainstream and reworked into to the singularity it was born to critique.
It is also important to note that to characterize hyperpop as totally unique or brand new would be to ignore the influence that Black culture has had on the genre of predominantly white musicians. There is a connection between musical styles developed by Black artists and hyperpop dating as far back as hard jazz and bebop, with its confrontational, anti-structural compositions and an emphasis on rejecting convention in music as a necessary part of rejecting the dominance of Enlightenment-derived socio-political values . More recently, the innovations of the Detroit techno scene and the work of groups like Injury Reserve, MF DOOM, and Death Grips provide important context for the rise of hyperpop and exploring electronica through interactive and industrial landscape-building. But just as hyperpop was not born without influence, it has also not escaped being appropriated into the mainstream music market.
“Bitch I’m Madonna” was a collaborative effort between Madonna and Nicki Minaj and producers Diplo, SOPHIE, and Ariel Rechtshaid, released in 2015. A mix of SOPHIE’s challenging, genre-pushing brilliance and Madonna’s standard twenty-first century name-bait cash grabs, it’s unclear exactly who is in on the joke . The chorus is simply “We go hard or we go home / we gon’ do this all night long / we get freaky if you want / Bitch I’m Madonna, bitch I’m Madonna, bitch I’m Madonna”, a testament to the intoxicating powers of celebrity and ethanol. The accompanying music video is digitally altered to oversaturate the colour grading, a filter that sits over Madonna partying and kissing anyone clad in designer clothing and within arm’s reach. Chris Rock, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, Beyonce, and a handful of other celebrities make cameo appearances to lip-sync the song’s titular lyrics to underscore that being Madonna is a state of mind , one not limited to the celebrity of the same name, something that can be embodied by almost anyone (albeit by way of drinking, hypersexuality, and wearing neon clothing). If anything, “Madonna” becomes a lifestyle brand with its namesake as its spokesperson. “Bitch I’m Madonna” is the simulacrum of the postmodern music industry—the usage of genre conventions developed to subvert pop music conventions then reappropriated into a single, released by Universal Music Group, featuring some of the world’s biggest pop musicians. The song maintains some level of self-awareness (how could it not?), but even that self-awareness is an artifact of postmodernism.
In this way, hyperpop becomes expression reduced to spectacle, doomed to recuperation. “Audience” and “market” have become synonymous in the eyes of monopolized and industrialized culture, hyperpop becomes another ingredient to be added to the meat grinder before its final product is homogenised. Mark Fisher noted that “nothing runs better on MTV than a protest against MTV”  and that the performance of the real, the bottling of the authentic is a powerful marketing tactic on its own. In this way, to return to the language of finance capital and monopolization, the value of cultural and capitalist critique is itself capital: it increases shareholder value, the radical not only situated to become passively recuperated but instead subject to an intention and active process of redefinition. It is this simulacrized and abstracted protest, the interpassive aesthetic that is allowed to appear in the mainstream. Controlled by the industries with the capital to produce and promote hyperpop aesthetics severed from their original context, it becomes momentary. Singular. “It is that which escapes the activity of men, that which escapes reconsideration and correction by their work. It is the opposite of dialogue. Wherever there is independent representation, the spectacle reconstitutes itself.”  If the underlying philosophy of P.C. Music and SOPHIE’s hyperpop was its intemporality, its dichotomy with Universal Music’s hyperpop is in its temporality.
Jameson characterises the institution as an inherently temporal body: by nature of subsuming the creator and audience, its imposition over culture is definitive and rigid. The usage of the term “event” by the Situationists, Debord, and Jameson seems at first intemporal: if an object can become an event, how can it be static? But events have beginnings and ends, they exist in the past, present, or future. They are fixed in a linear timescape, exacerbated by the idea of “relevance”, a form of social capital that becomes economic capital under the culture industry. The symbolic obligation to participate in capitalist critique comes from a series of temporal, aesthetic signifiers: moments of unsightly oppression and inequities of material acquisition that can be defined and explained in infographics designed on Canva and spread through Facebook subsidiaries. The intemporal resistance, the building of empathy and community, the fluid identity is experiential and ongoing. “Bitch I’m Madonna” did not transform hyperpop into a recuperated product, but rather created an event from an experience. The culture industry will continue to use these aesthetics as long as profit can be extracted from them—a review from The Fourty Five laudes SOPHIE’s involvement and calls the track “urgent” . In doing so, the audience becomes witness to the event rather than interactive with the experience, a need to be absorbed in what is New for the sake of its Newness, its transgression with mainstream music still dialectically marrying it to the industry. Participation in emergent culture is seen as an active role, but it is passive in so much as it is necessitated as form of accumulating social and cultural capital and guided by the hand of the institution. 
“Bitch I’m Madonna” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday” are, in some way, the same song. They are protests produced for profit, still palatable, never alienating, lightly self aware, collaborations between faces picked by major record labels assisted in composition and production by lesser known and more experimental songwriters. Through a series of allusions—to the aesthetics of suburbia and to the artists own name, respectively, they hope to express the desires of their audience and their discontent with the ennui of contemporary life. For audiences, participating in this industry-endorsed protest also fulfils a part of those desires. Consumption, a façade of active interaction, participation with the temporal event are the end goals instituted by the industry.
To say that hyperpop’s importance ended with its embrace by the mainstream would be to falsely categorise the movement as temporal. Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides was released after “Bitch I’m Madonna” and the ontological spirit of hyperpop lives on beyond the work of SOPHIE. Projects like Black Dresses and Girls Rituals, comprised of trans musicians working within the electro-industrial genre, continue to use the apparatus of constructed industrial sound as a liberatory practice. It has been almost 55 years since Wendy Carlos released Switched-On Bach, an album widely recognized as bringing the Moog Synthesizer to the mainstream and the album whose commercial success funded Carlos’s own sex reassignment surgery. In a retrospective review from Allmusic, Switched-On Bach is characterized as having an “amazing sensitivity”, a notable accomplishment for an album produced with no desire to imitate the organic despite its basis in the Western cannon of classical music. It is not a coincidence that the sounds and philosophies concerning the radical (and reactionary) capabilities of popular music begin in the late 1950s, alongside the rise of a post-Fordist society. The usage of emergent technologies to create intemporal aesthetics, later recuperated into temporal events by institutions, is a result of a hegemonic world controlled by speculative and finance capital. The intemporality of these aesthetics has its politics strengthened not only by its rejection of the interpassivity of neoliberal capitalism, but also in its expression of identity. The apparatus is ever-functioning, omnipresent. The individual identity (be it gender, sexuality, expression) does not need to be satisfied by the acquisition of commodities but instead is satisfied in recognizing its position within libidinal capitalism. Through this process, identity becomes communal, a recognition of positionality and possibility within power structures.
To return to cyberfeminism, Donna Haraway’s writings remain prescient when considering both the liberatory and oppressive structures of the digital and synthetic. Creation affirms existence. The technologies of creation are often controlled by the same forces that control all other aspects of life, whiteness, empire, capital, patriarchy. But the phenomenological properties of the synthetic coupled with the possibilities of the digital provide an alternative pathway, one in which there is no event, no temporality, no singularity. The intemporal is unresolved, as is capitalism, but unlike the goals of capital it is not moving towards anything. Instead, the intemporal and the technological are the omnipresence of possibility. Haraway writes that “we don’t need organic holism to give impermeable wholeness.”  It is the wholeness that is to be found in the experiential, the confessional, the abstract, and necessarily the intemporal that is the fundamental antithesis of a financialized culture.
 Andrea Fraser, Official Welcome, Performance/ video, 2003.
 Theodor Adorno, Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture (Oxfordshire: Routledge, 2001), 35.
 Hugh McIntyre, “The Three Major Record Labels & Their Role In The Music Industry”, Careers In Music, 30 June 2021, https://www.careersinmusic.com/major-record-labels/.
 Wayne Marshall, “Ariana Grande Was Accussed of Copying ‘7 Rings’ Again and Again… and Again”, Vulture, 1 April 2019, https://www.vulture.com/2019/04/did-ariana-grande-copy-7-rings.html.
 Frederic Jameson, “The Aesthetics of Singularity,” in New Left Review 92 (March/ April 2015), 119.
 Jameson, “Singularity”, 116.
 Dan Weiss, “Trend of the Year: How PC Music Chewed Up Pop Conventions”, Spin Magazine, 17 December 2014, https://www.spin.com/2014/12/pc-music-sophie-qt-ag-cook-trend-of-the-year-best-of-2014/.
 Oliver MacCaulay, “An Uncanny Valley of Sonic Possibilities: SOPHIE’s Music and Its Legacy”, Science and Media Museum, 3 November 2021, https://blog.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/sophie-music-and-legacy/.
 An acronym standing for Girlfriend Of The Year
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Aeron Davis, “Defining Speculative Value In The Age of Financialized Capitalism”, The Sociological Review 66, 2.
 Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction (London: Penguin, 2008), 17.
 Marshall McLuhan, The Medium Is The Massage (London: Penguin, 2008) 114.
 Michael Love Michael, “The Glow Up of Kim Petras”, Paper Magazine, 26 July 2019, https://www.papermag.com/kim-petras-clarity-project-2639362951.html.
 Sadie Plant, “On The Matrix,” in Cultures of Internet: Viritual Histories, Real Histories, Living Bodies ed. R. Sheilds (London: Sage, 1996), 335.
 Jameson, “Singularity”, 111.
 Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle, 1967. Accessed 9 January 20222 via https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/debord/society.htm
 Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (London: Zero, 2009), 13.
 Debord, Society of the Spectacle.
 Jameson, “Singularity”, 111.
 Sophie Williams, “SOPHIE: Eight artists that took influence from the hyper-pop pioneer”, The Fourty-Five, 5 Februrary 2021, https://thefortyfive.com/opinion/sophie-collaborators-madonna-charli-xcx-kim-petras/.
 Slavoj Zizek, “The Interpassive Subject”, Centre Georges Pompidou, 1998, 11. Accessed via https://divinecuration.github.io/assets/pdf/zizek-interpassive.pdf.
 “Composer Changes More Than Tune”, New York Magazine, April 1979.
 Bruce Elder, “Switched-On Bach Review”, All Music, Accessed 9 January 2022 via https://www.allmusic.com/album/switched-on-bach-mw0000976916.
 Donna Haraway, A Cyborg Manifesto (University of Minnesota Press, 2016), 61.