Sound-writing machines and pneumatic gramophones: unearthing histories of use and tacit skills for the DEMA project

19 Mai 2021

Research seminar with Aleksander Kolkowski



Doing Experimental Media Archaeology: Practice and Theory’ (DEMA) comprises a team of researchers who, in individual projects, explore the potential of hands-on experimentation to experience the materiality of past media technologies and achieve a better understanding of their practices of use. Among the principal objects under DEMA’s scrutiny are magic lanterns and early home-movie making apparatuses, in my case, the focus is on sound and the use of particular recording and reproduction devices from the early to mid-20th century, including disc recording machines and mechanical-acoustic gramophones where sound is driven by compressed air.

Aleksander Kolkowski will describe experiments made with these historical technologies, both systematised and improvisatory. Some are undertaken in laboratory or studio settings, others as public events such as workshops, performative demonstrations or artistic recording projects.  While attempting to codify the technological knowledge and tacit skills used in operating these devices, he has adopted a multi-sensorial approach, examining visual, auditory, somatosensory perception and gesture.

Adjacent to experiments in sound recording and also discussed, is the replication of two historic gramophone soundboxes - the Auxetophone (1908) and Stentorphone (1913) - made in collaboration with students and staff at the Department of Engineering, University of Luxembourg.



Wednesday, 19 May 2021, from 14.00 to 15.00



Online - Webex.

If you want to participate, please send an e-mail to to receive the link.