Along with my co-editors Whitney Trettien and Darren Mueller, I am proud to announce the launch of Provoke!: Digital Sound Studies. Provoke! is a web collection of digital projects bringing more noisy t(h)inkering to sound studies, digital humanities, and the audio arts. The collection is co-edited by three Duke doctoral students whose three-year collaboration, known as “Soundbox,” has been funded by the Franklin Humanities Institute's Graduate Digital Scholarship Initiative and the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge. The website preludes a print volume by the same name (forthcoming from Duke University Press) that galvanizes the emergence of digital sound studies, a sensory-rich approach to research and publication.
The Provoke! web collection creates a home for creative-critical projects by makers, documentary artists, and sound scholars whose work presses at the boundaries of scholarship. Envisioned as “provocations” to existing forms of publication, these projects relate to one another through their deep engagement with sonic materials and innovative formal presentation. Rather than drawing from a particular historical period, culture, methodology, or set of aesthetic objects, collects a series of processual explorations connected through an ethos of play, experimentation, and social interaction. Because of their sonically inspired, collaborative nature, many of these projects fall outside the purview of traditional academic publishing, yet each one offers a critical contribution to the ongoing dialogue about the future of sound studies and digital humanities.
The digital turn provides an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the forms through which scholars and artists communicate. The editors, known collectively as Soundbox, wish to see audio material featured more abundantly and creatively in scholarly settings. At the heart of our collaboration is an aspiration to hear sound used as a primary means of knowledge production. Accordingly, we have designed this website to privilege the auditory experience. Each Provoke! project is formally unique: some have digital spaces of their own and others are contained entirely within this website. The contributors document the ideas and processes that went into the creation of their pieces, with the goal of empowering others to experiment with audio-based scholarship.
The Provoke! Projects:
Paperphone: Vocal Effects in Scholarly Presentations by Wendy Hsu and Jonathan Zorn
We are Your Neighbors: Dialogues Across the Wall of Silence by colective caliban: danah bella, Salvador Barajas, Liz Canfield, John Priestley, with special collaborator Andrew McGraw
Finding Ibrida: Speculating and Prototyping Two Historically-Informed Guitar Bodies by Kenneth David Stewart
Susurrous Scholarship: Making Knowledge Sonic by Kevin Gotkin, Corrina Laughlin, Alex Gomez, and Aaron Shapiro
Organs of the Soul: Sonic Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris by Rebecca Geoffroy-Schwinden
A Tale of Two Soundscapes: The Story of My Listening Body by Steph Ceraso
The Grand Rue: Roads as Thoroughfares of Life by Myron Beasley and Robert August Peterson