Illustration 1: Stockholm, March 2016. Jacek Smolicki/Private archive
“Archival Ragpicking – On the act and art of personal archiving in the age of total capture” – A Talk
Technologies of today allow us to capture and store all kinds of information about our everyday lives regardless the time and space; on a 24/7 basis. With every new app, social media service and life-logging gadget that enters our techno-cultural horizon, the range of archival modes into which we are getting ever closely entangled keeps expanding. Whether we want or not, voluntarily and involuntarily, we have all become subject to a number of data aggregation algorithms that yield both structured data repositories and unstructured data exhaust. Among many questions that arise from this picture one of a particular interest here is about an agency in curating our memory practices, constructing personal legacy and a prospect of its broader cultural significance.
Sonic Flâneurie – A Workshop
We will speculate on listening as a form of critical practice potential of disrupting the dominance of techno-cultural patterns established by dominant frameworks for experiencing and registering everyday life through visual means. Can a simple act of stopping in the middle of rush hours or drifting away toward and lending an ear to a particular sonic situation be seen as an act of disobedience to the obsession with visual, often uneflective practices of capturing all characterizing our technologically saturated contemporaneity?
Besides bringing in the practice of field recording as an example of sonic flâneurie, during this session I would also like to propose a practical exercise based on utilizing smartphones (which presumably most of the attendees will be equipped with) as listening devices and sound recorders. We will embark on a journey to sonically map the everyday life of Oslo (Participants might obviously bring more professional audio recorders). However, the technological devices and the resulting sonic repository should not be seen as the end in itself. Smartphones (approached as sound recorders) should be rather seen as motivational devices facilitating the act of listening as such. Thus, it is still fine if there is no record resulting from the exploration. A set of written thoughts, graphs or drawings describing the experienced sonosphere can also form an account. Before taking to the streets of Oslo, a short workshop will be held during which various conducts of listening and recording (what one can pay attention to and how to record it) might be discussed.