Director of Special Collections
Lindsey Lodhie

Legal Affairs and Archiving
Elizabeth Watkins

Managing Editor
Julia Yezbick

Production Manager
Max Seawright

Ben Gaydos, Rafael Dernbach, Peter McMurray, Luke Moody, Juan Orrantia, Tom Schilling, Stacey Sewell, Hunter Snyder, Christos Varvantakis

Reviews Editor
Lan Li

Media and Outreach Team
Emilie Allen, Erik DeLuca

Web Designers and Developers
Ben Gaydos, Karen Stein, Matt White


Welcome to Sensate, a peer-reviewed, open-access, media-based journal for the creation, presentation, and critique of innovative projects in the arts, humanities, and sciences.

Our mission is to provide a scholarly and artistic forum for experiments in critical media practices that expand academic discourse by taking us beyond the margins of the printed page. Fundamental to this expansion is a re-imagining of what constitutes a work of scholarship or art. To that end, Sensate accepts and encourages non-traditional submissions such as audiovisual ethnographic research, multimedia mash-ups, experiments in media archaeology, time-based media, participatory media projects, or digitized collections of archival media, artifacts, or maps. Sensate accepts submissions of finished projects, proposals, and reviews of works (monographs, films, exhibitions, etc).

As an issueless journal, Sensate avoids the rigid structures of chronology and provides readers with the opportunity to explore the content in networked and associative ways, offering a rich, intuitive experience. Users can sort the content by clicking on the media icons, selecting one of our Special Collections (curated by Guest Editors), or through advanced search queries.

All works featured in Sensate are published under a Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution license. For more information on licensing and copyright, please see our Terms of Use.

The staff of Sensate would like to express our sincere appreciation for the support and guidance provided to us by our colleagues at the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society, The Film Study Center, metaLAB@Harvard, the Sensory Ethnography Lab, as well as our associates at Zeega. Thank You!


Sensate is made possible, in part, by the generous support of the Provostial Funds Committee, Office of the Dean of Arts and Humanities, at Harvard University.


Emilie Allen is completing an MA, Media Studies at Concordia University in Montréal, Québec. She also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Her interests involve fiction, feminist thought, intermedia, and experiments in documentary and cross-genre collaboration. Her current work blurs the boundaries between ethnography and art; “Hetaira & Héloïse” is an artist’s book of linked stories and video shorts exploring female bodies and identities in sex work.

Jeremy Blatter is a PhD candidate in the History of Science with a secondary field in Film and Visual Studies at Harvard University. Jeremy’s research focuses on the history of psychotechnics and applied psychology in Europe and America from the late nineteenth through the mid twentieth century. As Student Curator for Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments Jeremy will be co-curating this fall (2011) the exhibition “Cold War in the Classroom: The Material Culture of Mid-Century Science Education.”

Luís Filipe Brandão is a software engineer specialized in machine learning. He is currently based in Amsterdam where he is concluding his MSc. in Artificial Intelligence. Over the past four years, he has worked as a programmer for Textkernel and Berkman Center at Harvard through the Google Summer of Code program, among others, as well as developed an interactive installation for Mediamatic, a media arts institute in Amsterdam. More at www.luisbrandao.info

James Burns is Founder and Relational Knowledge Fellow at metaLAB(at)Harvard. Currently, he is focused upon developing Zeega into an enterprise publishing platform that allows scholars, journalists, artists and ordinary citizens to easily create sophisticated interactive projects through participatory media, algorithmically curate and visualize large-scale media and data collections, and a suite of parametric authoring tools.

Philip Cartelli is currently an anthropology PhD student at Harvard University. His first video, The Cajun New Wave, premiered at the 2009 New Orleans Human Rights Film Festival. His writing has appeared in Witness, Film International, Radical Teacher, and Afropop.org. More at www.pcartelli.com

Lucien Castaing-Taylor is the Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Director of the Sensory Ethnography Lab, Director of the Film Study Center and Co-Director of Graduate Studies, Critical Media Practice. His work includes the films Hell Roaring Creek (2010) and (with Ilisa Barbash) Sweetgrass (2009) and In and Out of Africa (1992). His work has screened at the AFI, Berlin, Locarno, New York, and Toronto film festivals, been exhibited at the Berlin Kunsthalle, Mariane Goodman Gallery, X-Initiative, and elsewhere, and is in the permanent collection of MoMA and the British Museum. Written publications include Visualizing Theory (ed., 1994) and Transcultural Cinema (ed., 1998). He was the founding editor of the American Anthropological Association’s Visual Anthropology Review(1991–94).

William Cheng received his Ph.D. in Music from Harvard University (2012) and is currently a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows (2012-15). His research on video games, new media, opera, identity politics, and other subjects has appeared in journals and edited volumes such as 19th-Century Music, Ethnomusicology, Cambridge Opera Journal, The Oxford Handbook of Virtuality, and The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media. At the moment, he is hard at work (and play) on a monograph titled Soundplay: Video Games and the Musical Imagination (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

Aryo Danusiri is an award-winning filmmaker, activist and anthropologist. His documentary films include Village Goat Takes The Beating (1999), The Poet of Linge Homeland (Penyair Negeri Linge) (2000), Abracadabra! (2003), Lukas’ Moment (2005), Playing Between Elephants (2007), and On Broadway (2010). His work has screened at Royal Anthro-pological Institute Film Festival, Margaret Mead Film Festival as well as festivals in Singapore, Brisbane, Taiwan and Rotterdam. Danusiri is the executive director of Ragam Media Network. He holds a masters degree in visual cultural studies from Tromso University (2005) and is currently a PhD candidate in Anthropology (with Media) at Harvard University.

Erik DeLuca (from Florida) is a PhD Candidate in Music Composition and Computer Technologies with a secondary focus in the anthropology of sound at the University of Virginia. For the past few years his work for chamber ensemble, sound installation, and recorded document has emerged from experiential fieldwork as an Artist-In-Residence in the U.S. National Park System. His multi-channel sound composition [in], supported by Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs and released by Everglade Records, was noted as being a “vast symphonic work” by Alvin Lucier.

Peter Galison is the Joseph Pellegrino University Professor and the director of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments at Harvard University. Galison’s work explores the complex interaction among the three principal subcultures of twentieth- and twenty-first-century physics: experimentation, instrumentation, and theory. His publications include How Experiments End (1987), Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics (1997), Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps: Empires of Time (2003), and, with Lorraine Daston, Objectivity (2007). Galison has also collaboratively produced documentary films including Ultimate Weapon: The H-bomb Dilemma (2000, with Pamela Hogan) and Secrecy(2008, with Robb Moss). He has been named a MacArthur Fellow (1997), a Guggenheim Fellow (2009) and in 1999, he won a Max Planck Research Award.

Ben Gaydos is a designer, filmmaker, artist and educator. He has filmed sadhus in Nepal and fisherman in India, worked as a designer in Germany and the UK, collaborated with blues musicians in Virginia and electronic artists in Detroit. His experiments in design, sound, film and video have been exhibited internationally. Ben has conducted research in design and anthropology at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received his MFA in Visual Communication/Design. He is co-founder of goodgood, an interdisciplinary design firm with offices in Detroit and Boston, and is currently Assistant Professor of design at the University of Michigan – Flint. See more of his work at goodgoodland.com and 3toed.com.

K. Michael Hays is Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Co-Director of Doctoral Programs. In 2000 he was appointed the first Adjunct Curator of Architecture at the Whitney Museum of American Art, a position he held until 2009. Hays was the founder and editor of renowned scholarly journal Assemblage, which was a leading forum of cultural and architectural theory in North America and Europe from 1985-2001, publishing work by figures such as Jacques Derrida, Peter Eisenmann, Andreas Huyssen, Slavoj Zizek, and others.

Amy Johnson has worked as a writer and editor in the print publishing world, on everything from literary novels to critical social science, from self-help to manga. She is presently a PhD student in the History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology and Society program at MIT, where she studies language and technology.

Ernst Karel is Lecturer on Anthropology, Assistant Director of the Film Study Center, and Lab Manager for the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University. A musician, sound recordist, composer, and anthropologist of sound, his two newest CD releases, on the Gruenrekorder and and/OAR record labels, are constructed with unmanipulated location recordings, and edited as imageless observational cinema. Other recent sound work based on location recordings makes use of four-, five-, and eight-channel recording and exhibition formats. He also performs and records improvised experimental electronic and electroacoustic music using modular analog electronics; current collaborations include the electroacoustic duo project EKG with Kyle Bruckmann, and the New England Phonographers Union. In addition to his own work, he also does sound editing, mixing, and sound design for nonfiction and experimental film and video.

Lan Angela Li is a filmmaker, occasional musician, and graduate student in the History, Anthropology, Science and Technology Studies department at MIT. She has worked on projects ranging from documentaries to promotional videos, bringing her in collaboration with the Institute for International Education as well as the Columbia University Department of Neuropsychiatry. She is a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow as well as an NSF Graduate Fellow. Lan’s inspirations as a scholar and artist are largely influenced by her father, an ethnomusicologist, and mother, a music educator and erhu soloist.

Sara Maestro is currently living in Milan, Italy, where she works as a producer. Sara received her MA in Visual Anthropology from the University of Manchester (2004) and has worked as an organizer for film festivals in Italy for several years.

Jared McCormick is a PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology at Harvard University. His work focuses on mobility and imagination in the landscape of Beirut, Lebanon. At the juncture of Migration and Tourism Studies he is interested in conceptions of masculinity, subjectivity and the creation of space. Recently, he has become interested in GIS and the possibilities of social anthropology and geospatial technologies.

Peter McMurray is a composer and graduate student in ethnomusicology. His research interests lie in between composition, sound design, and more traditional modes of ethnography, with special emphasis on sound and space. His dissertation focuses on the concept of “gurbet” (exile, displacement from home) in the musical diaspora of Turkey.

Luke Moody works for BRITDOC Foundation in London, UK, a documentary funding body. He also makes films: see cargocollective.com/try. After completing studies in fine art then Anthropology and Media at Goldsmiths, he participated in the Sound Image Culture (SIC) expanded ethnography programme in Brussels. He was also FAO of ISEFF International Student Ethnographic film festival and runs, literally runs http://itsgotlegs.tumblr.com.

John Condon Murray is Associate Professor of English literature and co-chair of the Humanities Department at Curry College. His scholarly and pedagogical interests focus on 19th- and 20th-century British literature, the history of the novel, narrative theory, film and visual culture, and literary and critical theory. He received his bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees from the Catholic University of America (Washington, DC), Harvard University, and the University of Rhode Island, respectively. He is the author of Technologies of Power in the Victorian Period: Print Culture, Human Labor, and New Modes of Critique in Charles Dickens’s Hard Times, Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley, and George Eliot’s Felix Holt (Cambria Press, 2010).

Anh-Thu Ngo is a Ph.D. candidate in Social Anthropology with a secondary focus on Film & Visual Studies at Harvard University. Currently, she is preparing a participatory media ethnography of urban development in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Her critical interests include ideas on affect, aesthetics, belonging, memory, the senses, and knowledge production. She has created short videos, costumes for stage, paintings and poetry and is most recently engaging in curatorial projects. Her poetry will appear in the forthcoming anthology, Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora: Troubling Borders in Literature and Art.

Kara Oehler is Co-Founder/Documentary Arts + Media Innovation Fellow at metaLAB (at) Harvard. She is a radio documentary producer and media artist whose work over the past decade has focused upon pushing the boundaries of narrative journalism both on the air and across multiple platforms, combining investigative storytelling with participatory media, building new systems and opportunities for education and artistic practice. Kara is the creator of multiple transmedia projects on which she has pioneered new forms of interactive experience, including the collaborative documentary Mapping Main Street; Capitol of Punk, featured in MoMA’s Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition; Zeega; and the UnionDocs Collaborative. More at www.karaoehler.net

Juan Orrantia (b. Bogota, Colombia), works on nonfiction projects that explore the evocative and critical possibilities of photography and multimedia. With a background in anthropology and documentary studies, his series address questions of memory, violence, intimacy, (dis)location and the everyday. See Juan’s work here.

Joana Pimenta is a media researcher and artist, working with video, digital media and installation art. She is a PhD student in Film and Visual Studies and Critical Media Practice at Harvard, and works at the metaLAB. Her research focuses on cinematic objects, installation and systems art. She has previously studied and held research positions in Lisbon, Paris and Amsterdam, as well as directed short films and worked in film production, digital media and curation projects.

Sophia Roosth’s research focuses on contemporary biology. Her first book manuscript, based on four years of ethnographic fieldwork, examines how the life sciences are changing at a moment when researchers build new living systems in order to investigate how biology works. Roosth asks what happens to “life” when experimentation and fabrication converge. She is also interested in how non-visual senses figure in scientific research. Roosth joined Harvard in 2011 after earning her doctorate in science studies from MIT in 2010.

Didem Sarikaya is a Ph.D. candidate in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. Her research focuses on understanding how the organs become bigger or smaller during evolution. Outside of the laboratory environment, she is interested in the intersection of visual arts and science.

Nitin Sawhney is a Research Fellow and Lecturer with the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology and the Center for Future Civic Media. His ongoing research, teaching and creative practice (documentary film) engages the critical role of arts interventions in contested spaces and participatory media with marginalized communities. Nitin completed his doctoral work at the MIT Media Lab where he conducted research on networked collaboration for sustainable product design, as well as mobile, wearable and responsive media interfaces in everyday workplace and urban settings.

Tom Schilling has worked as an industrial chemist in Boston and metallurgist in Los Angeles, developed nanostructured plastic solar cells at the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, and collaborated with the editors of Scientiae Studia through the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Universidade de São Paulo. He is currently working with visual media in geological exploration and mine planning as a PhD student in the History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology and Society program at MIT.

Max Seawright is a Teaching Fellow and PhD Candidate in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. Max researches dwelling, space, illustration and visual adaptation, primarily in the context of twentieth century Brazilian literature.

Stacey Sewell is a PhD candidate at University College Falmouth, UK. Her research interests include contemporary music and the body, listening practices, performance documentation and writing about sound. Stacey’s work has appeared in Performance Research, Radical Musicology, and Body, Space & Technology. See more at her website and blogs.

Jeff Daniel Silva is an artist, teacher and curator based in Boston. Over the past ten years he has developed a diverse body of work from multi-channel installations to short films and experimental documentaries that have screened internationally at festivals and in galleries. He holds an MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier and currently teaches at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in experimental, documentary and ethnographic film studies and production. He is the co-founder and co-curator of the acclaimed Balagan Experimental Film Series at the Coolidge Corner Theatre. His most recent film, Ivan & Ivana (2011) premiered at Visions du Reel. More at www.jeffdanielsilva.com

Jesse Shapins is on the faculty of architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and is Co-Founder/Associate Director of metaLAB (at) Harvard. He is a media artist, theorist and social entrepreneur whose work has been featured in The New York Times, Metropolis, PRAXIS and Wired, and been exhibited at MoMA, Deutsches Architektur Zentrum and the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, among other venues. Over the past decade, he has developed a hybrid practice of interactive design, public intervention, architectural theory, and experimental pedagogy focused upon mapping the perception of place between physical, virtual and social space. More at www.jesseshapins.net

Hunter Snyder was born in Western Germany, raised in Maryland, and has been working in New England for the past three years. A nascent documentary filmmaker whose work concerns the relationships between land and labor, he is developing projects surrounding industrial workplaces in Greenland, Central America, and Northern New England. Hunter is also a founder of camra at Penn, where he works as a research fellow on legitimation issues of multimodal scholarship. In October 2013, he will begin a Master’s course in Anthropology at Oxford. www.huntersnyder.net

Mary Margaret Steedly is Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. She has conducted fieldwork among the Karo Bataks of the North Sumatran uplands. Her first book, Hanging without a Rope: Narrative Experience in Colonial and Postcolonial Karoland (1993) received the Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing (1994). Supported by a grant from the John C. and Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation, she has recently turned her focus to the construction and inculcation of a particular “military culture” of soldier-citizens at The Citadel Military College. She has recently completed two books, one a history of Karo participation in the Indonesian independence struggle, and the other an edited volume, Images That Move, which explores the relations among technologies of image production and circulation, the nature and intensity of the circulating image, and the generation of publics and counter-publics.

Karen Stein is a designer, writer and educator, with 10 years experience in Boston design firms before co-founding goodgood. She received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University where her research focused on the concepts of imagination and experience. Karen’s earlier studies at Boston College concentrated on aesthetics and politics. She teaches at Tufts, the Museum School and UMass-Dartmouth. See more of her work at goodgoodland.com and www.karenstein.org.

Christos Varvantakis is an anthropologist, writing his PhD Thesis at Freie Universität of Berlin. Before that he was trained as a visual anthropologist at Goldsmiths in London and shot several ethnographic films. He has published on memory and historical narratives, on death rituals and transformation as well as on the history of ethnographic film. At present he tries to make sense of the aesthetics of ethnographic photography and to understand the alchemical processes of super 8 film.

Elizabeth Anne Watkins is an artist and researcher working to expand visual projections of temporal being. Her practice engages a wide range of disciplines, finding points of convergence between historiography, neuropsychiatry, quantum mechanics, architecture, drawing, and time-based media. She is currently working towards a Master of Science in Art, Culture and Technology at the MIT School of Architecture and Planning. She’s been the recipient of numerous awards, including a University of California at Irvine Research Fellowship and an MIT Department of Architecture Graduate Fellowship. For more information, please visit elizabethannewatkins.com.

Matthew White is a designer and educator. He holds a M.Ed in Instructional Design from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and a BFA from the Lesley University College of Art + Design. Matt is partner and creative director at Zocalo, a Boston based interactive design firm. He is teaching design and mobile development at the Lesley University College of Art + Design and Northeastern University.

Ned Whitman is an undergraduate at Harvard College, concentrating in Human Evolutionary Biology and Social Anthropology with a Secondary Field in Visual and Environmental Studies. He is interested in the evolution of the human brain, the neurophysiology of visual perception, art as experience in everyday life, and global interconnectivity.

Julia Yezbick is a filmmaker, artist, and doctoral candidate in Media Anthropology and Critical Media Practice at Harvard University. Her works have been screened at international film festivals including the Mostra Internacional do Filme Etnográfico, Rio de Janeiro, the Nordic Anthropological Film Association, Stockholm, the Montreal Ethnographic Film Festival, and the Berlin International Film Festival–Forum Expanded. She is a member of The Sensory Ethnography Lab, a Harvard Film Study Center Fellow, the founding Editor of Sensate, and co-founded/directs Mothlight Microcinema in Detroit, where she lives and is currently conducting her dissertation research. See more at www.juliayezbick.com.

Emily Zeamer is a Social Anthropologist (PhD Harvard 2008) interested in how private religion – defined as a sense of the spiritual and moral in the everyday world – is woven into modern life. Her current ethnographic research in contemporary Bangkok, Thailand, looks specifically at how aspects of religious tradition inform the ways that Buddhist Thais imagine and use modern techniques and technologies in their everyday lives. Emily is also working to complete a series of short films which explore material sensory dimensions of urban life in the modern megacity of Bangkok, including human encounters with the built landscape, traffic, and trash.

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