The Journal of Sonic Studies
Journal of Sonic Studies, volume 4, nr. 1 (May 2013)Justin Patch: CAUGHT IN THE CURRENT: WRITING ETHNOGRAPHY THAT LISTENS

To refer to this article use this url: http://journal.sonicstudies.org/vol04/nr01/a09


In Listening (2002) Jean-Luc Nancy proposes a philosophy that listens, one that does not arrive at static, definitive conclusions but continuously resonates and remains open. This essay conceptualizes an ethnography that listens by putting Nancy’s thinking into play with texts that philosophically critique writing from different angles. By examining concepts of voice, speaking, the author, listening, and open work within writing practices, a polyvocal, nomadic concept of writing that listens emerges and points in many potential directions. One line of flight leads to ethnography, where the conflicts inherent in textualizing human representation continue to be examined and experimented with. In the second half of this essay, I propose one of many possible approaches to an ethnography that listens: ethnography of spin. In conscientiously, honestly, and openly writing the experience of getting spun – an integral part of mediated everyday experience in modernity – we offer texts that listen, resonate, echo, and can be transformed, remixed and re-mastered.