Donnerstag, 23. Mai 2013, 17:00 - 19:00 iCal

Data Karaoke

Studying the Conferences of the Sonification Community

Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung
Universitätsstraße 7 / II / 6, 1010 Wien


In 1992, the first International Conference on Auditory Display (ICAD) brought together a variety of researchers – including, among others, computer scientists, sound designers, psychologists, acousticians, and seismologists – who shared an interest in the usage of non-verbal sound to represent and communicate information. Now an annual event, the conference has played an important role in the establishment of an interdisciplinary community dedicated to sonification: an acoustic counterpart to visualisation, in which data are translated into sound.

My talk will report on an ethnographic study of the sonification community, focusing in particular on the annual ICAD conference. This conference, I will show, was crucial in defining sonification as a research field, and continues to be an important site for negotiations of the nature and boundaries of the field. However, my analysis will attend not just to those ‘big debates’ about the nature of the field, but also to the social activities and embodied practices that give shape to the community, such as the musical jam session’ in which the social identity of the community is performed, or the various bodily and sensory techniques that presenters make use of during their conference talks.

I will conclude my talk with some thoughts about how this analysis of the ICAD community could be made fruitful for a broader study of the role of embodied and sensory skills in the performance of scientific knowledge.


Dr. Alexandra Supper


Karin Neumann
Institut für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung