This essay – situated within the small but emerging field of sonic food studies and gastronomic auditory cultures – is positioned in the gap between the sounds of food and the meanings derived from the behaviors and practices encircling food. In food studies literature, assumptions abound about multi-sensory engagement. Yet, the sonic components of food remain undertheorized. This sonic research article – consisting of an sonic artifact and exegesis – emphasizes and prioritizes sensory incongruity. Intentionally, the non-eating sounds of the digital and analogue interactions surrounding food are summoned. There is a reason for the focus on these interfaces. Working with Viktor Shklovsky’s theorization of defamiliarization or ostranenie (остранение), presented in his 1917 essay “Art as Device,” I am interested in reducing “automatization” and value “disruptions.” I have produced a sonic artifact that textualizes three slices of food sound: shopping for groceries, the delivery of food to a domicile, and cooking. These sounds were not slotted into a convenient narrative of a sonic documentary. They were not staged; they were not sound effects. There is a gap – of experience, expertise, perception, and meaning – between signifier and signified, the sound and its reception. The deferral of meaning creates hesitation, confusion, instability, and unsettles meaning systems.
sound, Sonic Studies, media, john cage, food studies, sonic food studies, sonic, ostranenie, defamiliarization, creative-led research