Korean B-Boys and the Advent of Audience 2.0


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B-boying, a form of hip-hop dancing, has become a phenomenon in Korea. Despite its introduction almost 20 years later than in the U.S., B-boying is now not only sweeping Korean culture but Korean dancers are dominating the world’s B-boying scene. In fact, Korean B-boys have won the championship titles in several world-level competitions from 2002 to 2007. Moreover, B-boying has begun to be considered a serious artform in Korea. Korea Tourism Organization selected a B-boying musical performance as one of the 6 performances that are representative of Korean performing arts, while leaving out numerous blockbuster performances and Korean traditional performances. The presenter attributes this remarkable phenomenon to the advent of Audience 2.0 via the highly-developed IT environment in Korea. With the focus on Audience 2.0, this session will explore how foreign culture became popularized in Korea, influenced the world in turn, and eventually became successfully institutionalized in the Korean arts scene. Created by WoongJo Chang for the 2008 Technology in the Arts: Canada Conference.

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Korean B-Boys and the Advent of Audience 2.0

  1. 1. Korean B-Boys and Advent of AUDIENCE 2.0 WOONG JO CHANG The Ohio State University 1
  2. 2. Background Facts #1 In many of the world-level break dancing competition events, Korean B-boys have cut brilliant figures since 2002. 2
  3. 3. Background Facts #2 Korean B-boys are leading Korean performing arts scene and Korean government takes it seriously. 3
  4. 4. Background Facts #3 Long before the introduction of MySpace and Facebook, South Korea already had Cyworld, a social networking site launched back in 1999 4
  5. 5. Korean B-Boys Successful Story of Today, I will talk about <ul><li>B-Boying? B-boy? </li></ul><ul><li>B-Boying in US and Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Korean B-Boys in the World </li></ul><ul><li>Korean B-Boys in the Arts Scene </li></ul>6
  6. 6. WHY? <ul><li>The Internet and IT in Korea </li></ul><ul><li>Institutionalization in the Virtual World </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 and Audience 2.0 </li></ul>Today, I will talk about 7
  7. 7. B-boys? Coined by Kool Herc . Image from Wikimedia Commons 8
  8. 8. B-boying? B-boying or Break dancing is called so because they dance to the break part of music. In late 60s and early 70s African Americans in Bronx New York, started a sort of b-boying. 9
  9. 9. Dancers, B-boys , began to move up and down and pop up again on the beats . 10 D.J.s developed various skills to emphasize break beats in their music.
  10. 10. B-boying in US In US, B-Boying became popularized throughout the 70's and 80's. 11
  11. 11. After late 80's, B-boying was losing Its popularity. 13 Image from Amazon.com
  12. 12. In late 90's, B-boying gained its popularity again. 13 This time, not only in US but also in Europe and Asia. “ For just as b-boying was fading here [in the U.S], teenagers in Europe and Asia, who had watched the Rock Steady Crew and other greats on video, started forming their own crews.” - Julie Bloom in New York Times
  13. 13. Battle? Head to head confrontations between individuals or crews trying to out-dance each other 14
  14. 14. Battle? 15
  15. 15. Korean B-Boys in the World Korean B-boys have won the championship titles in many world-level competitions since 2002. Image from www.redbullbcone.com/download 16
  16. 16. In BOTY, 2001 Visual Shock : Best Show 2002 Expression :Finalist 2003 Expression : Finalist 2004 Gambler : Finalist 2005 Last For One : Finalist 2006 Last For One : Finalist 2007 Extreme Crew : Finalist 17
  17. 17. In Red Bull BC One, 2005 Hong 10 : Finalist 2006 Hong 10 : Winner The End : Semi-finalist 2007 Hong 10 : Semi-finalist 18
  18. 18. In UK B-Boy Championships, 2002 Project Soul : Winner (team battle) Hong 10 : Finalist(Solo battle) 2003 Project Soul : Finalist (team battle) 2004 Project Soul : Winner (team battle) Physics : Winner (Solo battle) Hong 10 : Finalist(Solo battle) 2005 Project Soul : Winner (team battle) Hong 10 : Finalist(Solo battle) 2006 Drifters : Finalist (team battle) 2007 T.I.P : Winner (team battle) 19
  19. 19. Planet B-boys (2008) In the Movies Hype Nation (2009) 20
  20. 20. B-boying has become one of the notable materials in Korean Pop Culture . In Pop Culture Image from BBOYSTAR 21
  21. 21. In the Arts 23
  22. 22. a B-boying musical performance as one of the 6 Korean representative Nonverbal Performing arts In the Arts 23
  23. 23. Last Feb, in the inauguration ceremony for President Lee Myung-bak in Korea, A B-boying performance by Last For One was held as well as other Traditional percussion and opera performances. 25
  24. 24. R-16 27
  25. 25. B-boying was introduced in earnest to Korea in late 90's or early 2000's. Korean B-boys are sweeping Korean Cultural Scene . and are leading the World’s B-boying Culture . Now, 28 “ South Korea is at the forefront of the new wave of break-dance, or b-boy, artistry.” - Julie Bloom in New York Times
  26. 26. & HOW? WHY? 29
  27. 27. One Explanation Similarity of Beats and Movements 30
  28. 28. Another Explanation Examination Hell in Korea 31
  29. 29. A Very Miscellaneous Explanation A Comic Book 32
  30. 30. Explanation for Today The Highly Developed IT Environment in Korea 33
  31. 31. Some Facts of IT Environment in Korea Over half of South Koreans have migrated their cell-phone to 3G. In 2006, 57% of South Korea's music sales were digital. South Korea became the first country to launch DMB to cell phones in 2005. From Tomi Ahonen's book, Digital Korea 34
  32. 32. Some Facts of the Internet in Korea 90% of South Koreans have broadband Internet access. The average broadband connection is 50 ~ 100 mps. 1,000 mps connection has been already introduced. 43% of Korea's population maintain an online profile or blog site in Cyworld. From Tomi Ahonen's book, Digital Korea 35
  33. 33. Institutionalization? “ an ongoing, complex, and potentially contradictory process of structuration, stabilization, and perpetuation of collective action.” Shapiro, R. (2004). The Aesthetics of Institutionalization-Breakdancing in France 36
  34. 34. . Institutionalization of B-boying culture in US has been driven mainly by the private sector . In France , it involves the government’s constructive participation. 37
  35. 35. No Attention from Private Sector No Support from Government In Korea 38
  36. 36. B-boys in Korea institutionalized themselves in the Emerging Virtual institutions. Emerging Virtual Institutions ? 39
  37. 37. Emerging Virtual institutions <ul><li>Various social networking sites </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life </li></ul>Image from Second Life Art New Image from Second Life Art New 40
  38. 38. Web 2.0 Matthew Paul Thomas retrieved from http://mpt.net.nz/archive/2005/12/27/web-2 41
  39. 39. Audience 2.0 <ul><li>They dwell in Web 2.0. </li></ul><ul><li>They are Audiences </li></ul><ul><li>They are Creators/Producers/Artists. </li></ul><ul><li>They institutionalize themselves in the Emerging Virtual Institutions. </li></ul>42
  40. 40. Korean B-Boys <ul><li>thanks to the highly developed IT environment , </li></ul><ul><li>Institutionalized themselves in the virtual institutions, </li></ul><ul><li>view other b-boys dancing via the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>mocking their dancing </li></ul><ul><li>practice/develop their movement as an exit of exam hell </li></ul><ul><li>organize crew via the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>upload their movement in the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>have won world level competitions </li></ul><ul><li>gained worldwide attention via the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>widen their work into the arts performances </li></ul><ul><li>get support from the government and the private sector </li></ul><ul><li>finally, entered into the real institutions, </li></ul><ul><li>lead the real world’s culture. </li></ul><ul><li>as Audience 2.0 who dwells in Web 2.0 , </li></ul>43
  41. 41. THANK YOU