Introduction: Exploring the Phenomenon of Sonic Waste in Anthropology (2024)

Heikki Wilenius, Jonathan LARCHER

About this exposition

The introduction to this special issue of The Journal of Sonic Studies addresses the concept of sonic waste in anthropological research. Stemming from a laboratory session titled "Rubbish, Noise, Experimentations: New Afterlives of Field Recordings" at the 2020 European Association of Social Anthropologists conference, this collection reconsiders ethnographic recordings traditionally categorized as noise or errors. The text sets the stage for the ensuing contributions that critically engage with discarded audio materials, challenging the long-standing emphasis on clarity and precision in field recordings. This introduction explores the notion of “ethnographic rubbish” – recordings that fall outside the ethnographer's initial analytical framework – and positions this rubbish as worthy of scholarly attention. It argues for the inclusion of these “noisy” artifacts in the broader ethnographic narrative, suggesting that they can offer unique insights into the affective and infrastructural aspects of the researched environments. By foregrounding the materiality of sound and advocating for a multimodal ethnographic approach, this introduction invites a reassessment of what constitutes valuable data.
typeresearch exposition
last modified23/03/2024
share statusprivate
copyrightWilenius & Larcher
licenseCC BY-NC-ND
published inJournal of Sonic Studies
portal issue25. Issue 25

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2601150 JSS Banner JSS All rights reserved
2601175 JSS25_intro_thumbnail Wilenius All rights reserved

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