The next edition of The Wire Salon takes a look at the emerging discipline of sensory ethnography, which straddles art and science, and pulls together film makers, theorists, sound makers and recordists.
Sensory ethnography has emerged in response to the way that anthropology has represented its human subjects in media, primarily through film. This new discipline, which has its roots in field recordings, sound art and ethnographic films, tries to develop a way of approaching anthropology's social concerns, maintaining its methodological imperative to clearly and accurately represent its subjects, while at the same time acknowledging that the audience for such research also makes up part of the meaning that it creates.
In short, sensory ethnography is an attempt to resolve the subjective, artistic approaches needed to make effective and engaging work out of empirical data, at the same time as accurately representing its observations.
Participants in the March edition of the salon include writer and theorist Alex Rhys-Taylor, and Nina Wakeford, an artist, film maker and course leader of the Visual Sociology MA at London's Goldsmiths College. The event will also include a specially recorded audio-visual introduction to sonic ethnography by the sound recordist and manager of the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab, Ernst Karel.