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(Ukulele) Strings of Knowledge: Tactile and Digital Interactivity with Archives and Ethnography

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Abstract

Ukulele: An Interactive Biography and Liliuokalani: Archival Experimentations are ethnographic art installations that utilize a musical instrument as a platform for telling an ethnographic story. The ukulele used in the installations was borrowed from a musician as a representation of personal-cultural belongings, material heritage, utilitarian sites of knowledge, lived experience, and as a physical template for embodied scholarship. Installation participants are invited to pluck the ukulele strings to generate sensory visual stories that can be experienced in a non-linear manner. The media content includes original audio and video material as well as (experimentally-modified) images sourced from public archives. These projects represent a playful experimentation with discourse on material culture, intangible cultural heritage and sensory methodologies to create prototypes for what could be termed “interactive anthropology.”

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Ward, R.M., Hennessy, K. (2018). (Ukulele) Strings of Knowledge: Tactile and Digital Interactivity with Archives and Ethnography. In: Whatley, S., Cisneros, R., Sabiescu, A. (eds) Digital Echoes. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-73817-8_7

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