Digital Echoes pp 125-149 | Cite as

(Ukulele) Strings of Knowledge: Tactile and Digital Interactivity with Archives and Ethnography

  • Rachel M. Ward
  • Kate Hennessy


Ukulele: An Interactive Biography and Liliuokalani: Archival Experimentations are ethnographic art installations that utilize a musical instrument as a platform for telling an ethnographic story. The ukulele used in the installations was borrowed from a musician as a representation of personal-cultural belongings, material heritage, utilitarian sites of knowledge, lived experience, and as a physical template for embodied scholarship. Installation participants are invited to pluck the ukulele strings to generate sensory visual stories that can be experienced in a non-linear manner. The media content includes original audio and video material as well as (experimentally-modified) images sourced from public archives. These projects represent a playful experimentation with discourse on material culture, intangible cultural heritage and sensory methodologies to create prototypes for what could be termed “interactive anthropology.”


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel M. Ward
    • 1
  • Kate Hennessy
    • 1
  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversitySurreyCanada

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