Tarja Rautiainen-Keskustalo, Tampere University



While visual studies has established its place in the field of social sciences, as generating relevant information about social life and relationships, the study of sound and audible culture has not achieved similar status. The link between sound and social action is regarded as difficult to conceptualize and theorize, and sound is often associated with many aesthetic and normative attitudes. The existence of sound as one of the sensory modalities of the human body is not often even acknowledged. Yet, sound has an increasingly important role in everyday technologies. In particular, some of the recent social media practices, defined as the new aural cultures, highlight the role of sound and voice.  Moreover, the growing significance of speech interfaces and voice interfaces highlight the centrality of this aural dimension.

The session focuses on how organized or non-organized sounds and aurality can be conceptualized as a part of technology-mediated action and what kind of specific theoretical perspectives sound provides for understanding technological infrastructures.