Music Researcher | The Poetic Justice Group at MIT Media Lab

The Poetic Justice Group at MIT Media Lab is an art and social justice focused research group. Currently, they’re researching how art can address the scale of sociopolitical issues through producing artworks that are distributed, multisite, participatory and public. They’ve been developing a series of software-generated sound and video works composed of recordings from public audiences and archives that are remixed and live-streamed over the phone and online, 24/7. These works explore themes ranging from US Census and COVID-19 to Black music. Their works have been presented by contemporary art museums in the U.S. including CAM Houston and CAM St. Louis and featured in New York Times and NPR.

They’ve created content curation tools and processes for finding and selecting genres, musicians, songs and lyrics based on the criteria of their artwork. They are looking for 3 music researchers, music enthusiasts, musicians, and/or djs interested in researching and writing about multi-genre and multigenerational thought and expression in Black music starting with R&B, hip hop and jazz. This is a 4-month full-time role with flexibility to work remote within the US but preferably work in person in the Boston-Cambridge.

Responsibilities:

  • Curate 1000s of samples
  • Research and develop strategy for determining relevant genres and musicians
  • Research 10s of Black music genres and subgenres developing criteria for their relevancy
  • Research 100s musicians for each genre developing criteria for determining their identity and relevancy
  • Research 10s to 100s of lyrics for each musican developing criteria for determining their themes and relevancy
  • Review and edit 1000s of timestamps for both the song samples and lyrics

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Black/African American related Studies, Music related studies or equivalent work experience.  
  • Proficiency with Google Sheets
  • Ability to work creatively and analytically
  • Ability to communicate clearly and concisely in both technical and non-technical language
  • Ability to work independently

Applications due Monday, April 25

To apply, please email a short cover letter and resume: pjg-jobs@media.mit.edu, with the position title in the subject line. Open until filled.

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