The ‘ultimate’ session of Engineering Fictions will take place on Tuesday 25th of June, at 5pm. Eve Olney will catalyze a session around the topic of sound recording, read on:
We are accustomed to the progressive nature of sound recording technologies and generally accepting of the phenomenon of ‘owning’ music. We therefore might be forgiven for overlooking how the complex and at times unexpected cultural origins of sound reproduction informs our response to a favourite song or a voice recording. This session considers how the everyday encounter with a sound recording can alter both cultural and personal perceptions of time and our relationship with the historical past.
When sound recording first appeared in 1878, it entered a vastly different cultural milieu of death than even the one surrounding early photography which had preceded sound recording by only a few decades. Recording was the product of a culture that had learned to can and to embalm, to preserve the bodies of the dead so that they could continue to perform a social function after life. The nineteenth century’s momentous battle against decay offered a way to explain sound recording. The ethos of preservation described and prescribed the cultural and technical possibilities of sound recording (Jonathan Sterne, 2003).
As usual, please feel free to bring along food, drink, or friends/colleagues. Also, be sure to bring along your preferred writing tools. This will be the final session of Engineering Fictions. It remains to be seen whether there will be interest enough to continue it for another season in the autumn, or to adapt it into a new form. We can have a chat about this on Tuesday regardless.
Looking forward to discussing and writing with you all!