Dr. Trevor Pinch will present on “A Server Called Prince: Paradoxes of the Digitization of the Montreux Jazz Festival Archive”

Event Date: 

Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 11:00am

Event Location: 

  • SSMS 3145

In collaboration with École Polytechnic Fédéral De Lausanne (EPFL), The Montreux Jazz Festival has almost completed the digitization of the over 5000 hours of video shot of iconic jazz, rock, and blues performers at the yearly Festival. These videos are stored in a vault in the Swiss mountain Chalet of the founder of festival. In this talk Dr. Trevor Pinch will present ethnographic encounters at the Chalet and at the 50th Anniversary Festival, as the server, “Prince”, which is at the center of the new digital archive, was unveiled. He explores the role of sound and the changed materiality, loss of indexicality and accompanying story telling, memories, and affect which is a feature of an archive of tapes of musical performances.  Dr. Pinch will conclude the talk by suggesting how new directions in the digital recognition of musical instruments and sound objects are also enabled by the digital archive and might provide new sorts of encounters with musical performances.  

Dr. Trevor Pinch is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University. He has just finished editing the Oxford Handbook of Sound Studies and he is part of the Cornell Institute for the Social Sciences (ISS) team 2013-2016 researching "Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship". Dr. Trevor Pinch's research has been concerned with understanding how culture and society are embedded into material artefacts, especially technologies and how these technologies themselves change and shape society.  His exploration of sonic technologies and sound objects, such as musical instruments, and how they are used is at the core of much of my research. Rapidly changing information technologies provide new means whereby social interaction occurs and new means of experiencing sonic cultures.