Juliana Friend (anthropology) and Seth Lu (Computer Science) are thrilled to announce a unique launch event for Many-to-Many, an interactive digital archive of ethnographic conversations recorded around the world.
We will screen a selection of conversations from the archive; possibilities include a sound walk through the streets of Taipei, a commemoration of the day of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion in Mano, Guinea, and a discussion between Brazilian activists about language, violence, and activism in Rio de Janeiro. We will then record a meta-conversation about the conversation archive to post to the site’s ‘About’ page. Refreshments will be served.
A collaboration with the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM) and Digital Humanities at Berkeley, Many-to-Many harnesses digital media tools to promote collaboration in the production and circulation of ethnographic knowledge. We invite ethnographers, their interlocutors, and the general public to share conversations in any form and medium. In doing so we ask, what is a conversation in the first place?
This experimental ethnography tests the possibilities and limitations of digital technologies for combating communicative inequalities (Cf. Briggs and Mantini-Briggs 2016). It also explores how reflexive orientations to modes of circulation shape the kinds of self-presentation we enact through conversation. This launch event is an opportunity to solicit feedback on how the user interface reflects these ethical commitments.
Juliana Friend (Creator and conversation analyst) is a doctoral student in anthropology at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation explores how new media transform sex-education and postcolonial statecraft in Senegal. She draws on her experiences in radio and print journalism to explore modes of dialogic storytelling in ethnographic practice.
Seth Lu (Programmer) is a student from the College of Letters & Science at University of California, Berkeley. He currently freelances in coding and design, with an interest in creating interactive experiences. He is responsible for the Many-to-Many website programming.
Nicholas de Monchaux (Advisor) is Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design and Director of the Berkeley Center for New Media. He is the author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo (MIT Press, 2011), an architectural and urban history of the Apollo Spacesuit, winner of the Eugene Emme award from the American Astronautical Society and shortlisted for the Art Book Prize, and Local Code: 3,659 Proposals About Data, Design, and the Nature of Cities (Princeton Architectural Press, 2016). The work of de Monchaux’s Oakland-based design practice has been exhibited widely, including at the Biennial of the Americas, the Venice Architecture Biennale, the Lisbon Architecture Triennial, SFMOMA, and the Chicago MCA.