Recently, a seven-member boy band from Korea called BTS has captivated the globe, forming the most massive and powerful fandom in history. The BTS phenomenon reaches far beyond the typical achievements of pop stars: as Jiyoung Lee illustrates, the changes that have been shown by BTS and their fandom ARMY are not confined to the music industry, but symptomatically shows significant sociocultural changes and revolutionary mutations in art, as well as a Zeitgeist or the political unconscious of the present age.
Lee argues that BTS has made fissures in the oppressive hierarchical structure of existing society and analyzes the socio-critical implications of BTS’ lyrics as a kind of patricide on a social level. Their tendency toward horizontality is not limited to their message, but further inspires fans’ grassroots movements to bring about diverse sociocultural changes. Examining the relation between BTS and their fandom as well as BTS’ online-network-based art form through the concept of Gilles Deleuze, “Rhizome,” she further proposes novel concepts, “network-image” and “sharing value,” which are crucial to understanding the contemporary era’s art form based on the mobile network platform.
Preface to English Edition Introduction. BTS, their Revolutionary Implications and a New Form of Art BTS Sweeps the Globe Serendipity, the Encounter between BTS and ARMY BTS, a Revolution and a New Form of Art The BTS Phenomenon as a Seismograph Why I Write this Book
Part 1. BTS Revolution
Chapter 1. BTS Pulls the Trigger Sociocritical Message in BTS’ Songs Dream a Different Dream, Dance a Different Dance Forward with a Cheerful Ridicule! Patricide, the Dismantling of Established Rules and Norms Solidarity to the Universe beyond the Globe!
Chapter 2. Deconstructing Social Hierarchy Horizontal Fantasy Success Achieved by the I-ARMY Creations of Fans - Online Content Disruption of Hierarchy Between Languages Change Begins Where the Established Orders are Incapacitated
Chapter 3. Rhizomatic Revolution through Solidarity Rhizome: A Horizontal and Acentered System Principle of Connection Principle of Heterogeneity and Multiplicity Principle of Asignifying Rupture Principle of Cartography Multiplicity of BTS-ARMY as War-Machine Revolutionary Praxis and the Cartography of Hope
Part 2. Network-Image as New Art Form
Chapter 1. Structural Features of BTS’ Videos General Features of the Music Video: Destruction of Narrative Continuity Open Structure of BTS’ Videos Repetition and Transformation of the Similar Symbolism of Images Online Installation Videos Cross-Reference and Spectator Participation Advent of the Network-Image
Chapter 2. The Network-Image and Sharing Value Characteristics of the Network-Image Technological Development and Transformation of Art Sharing, Participation, Openness on Mobile Network Platform Actual mobility of the Spectator and Sharing Value Precursors to the New Form of Art New Form of Art, Democratization, and Hope
Appendix. Beyond the Time-Image of Gilles Deleuze: the Network-Image Advent of a New Form of Art The Total System of Cinema Deleuze’s Attitude Toward the Electronic Image Advent of the Network-Image Role of the New Art: Sharing Value Beyond the Time-Image: the Third Image Transforming or Overcoming Deleuzian Film-Philosophy with Spectatorship