Recap of our Tech Talk 2: “Feminist Consent: Edits and Audio” by Sarah Cipes

On October 18, 2022, the AMP Lab was lucky enough to participate in a truly unique Tech Talk presented by PhD student and hilarious stand-up comic Sarah Cipes.

Sarah presented on her ongoing work with editing audio files from within our archives in ways that enact feminist ethics. In 2018 Dr. Karis Shearer and Dr. Deanna Fong turned their attention to recordings in the archive that may pose ethical challenges for either the speakers or those being spoken about on the archival recordings and in 2022 invited Sarah to join the research team as an RA.

Sarah Cipes presents in the Lab

During her talk, Sarah reviewed the process for creating a duplicate of an archival recording (in order to preserve the original), and then iterated her process for creating the specific edit she was sharing. Then, we collectively listened to the edited recording, and had a discussion around the choices Sarah had made, how the new edit impacted our curiosities and desire to know more than was made available through the edit, and ways that this specific gesture of feminist ethics could be used in other modes, such as art, performance, and curatorial work. Many people who attended the talk continued our discussions in the days to follow, contemplating and voicing who should be granted access to sensitive materials, how and if making all archival recordings publicly available is ethical, and the ways many of us invested in the archive can take up a feminist ethic as a conscious way of continuing digital and archival work.

We thank Sarah Cipes for presenting a small piece of the work she is doing with Dr. Karis Shearer and Dr. Deanna Fong and look forward to hearing more from her in the future. To watch the video of Sarah’s Tech Talk, you can check out our YouTube channel.