Accepted Paper:

Collecting sound: online sharing/distribution/libraries of fieldrecording as cultural practice  


Agata Stanisz (Adam Mickiewicz University in PoznaƄ)

Paper short abstract:

Sound might be considered not only from the auditory perspective (listening), but also from the perspective of its (re)production and distribution. I will look more closely at fieldrecording as a cultural practice that reveals what is socially audible and recognised as meaningful and worth attention

Paper long abstract:

The subject of my paper is fieldrecording as the sound practice that nowadays is gaining increasingly more popularity. We can observe effects of this practice in two contexts: 1. On the websites dedicated to digital sound production; 2. During the activities accompanying various artistic, cultural and educational events. I will consider the first context in which I participate as a fieldrecordist who uses sound recording as a non-visual method of (audio)anthropology. I will use perspectives of the anthropology of sound, acoustemology and acoustic ecology. My goal is to look into the fieldrecording as a category of socio-cultural practice related to the technological development and growing significance of sound production, and more generally, to the global process of sounding the western, mainly urban, culture.

Websites dedicated to audio recordings are used to publish and share sounds very often collected by tourists and other travellers, who catch sounds in the same way as they take photographs. These recordings are brought from different places, exotic tours, business, sightseeing trips, or just sentimental journeys. The example of fieldrecording practices encourages a broader reflection on the status of sounds, why some of them are audible and others are not, how new technologies influence the process of democratisation of senses, and raise the public awareness of the importance of acoustic space. Moreover, the phenomenon of tourist fieldrecording makes it possible to take a closer look at the stereotypical hearing and listening, as well as the cultural mechanisms of exoticising non-European/non-urban soundscapes.

Panel MB-SAR04
Socio-technologic configurations of sound.