Author Archives: Ritwik Banerji

Ritwik Banerji is an experimental ethnographer of music. His work focuses on the design of artificially-intelligent virtual performers of free improvisation and subjecting these systems to the critique of the human performers whose practices these systems are built to perform.
This is an image of Maxine's principal patch as it appears in the Max/MSP, which is a visual programming environment in which the programmer connects boxes and string-like to control the flow of information and the system's decision-making processes.

People Are Not Fixed Media

Sensory ethnography continually emphasizes that the sensorium is just as much a (product of) sociocultural practice as it is a biophysiological property of the human species (Pink 2015). Recognition of this point has prompted several shifts in ethnographic work. On the one hand, it has pushed ethnographers to include in their writing a greater discussion of how subjects engage with the world through their senses as well as how the putatively biological phenomenon of sensory perception is so highly variable across and within sociocultural milieux. On the other, it has inspired ethnographers to pursue media practices beyond text, particularly through ethnographic film or sound recording (Feld 1991). Regardless of form, this work has greatly increased the possibility for the reader, listener, or viewer to experience with their senses the social environment that subjects inhabit and where the ethnographer conducted fieldwork. (read more...)