Maren Haffke
ifk Research Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2022 bis 31. January 2023

Field Recordings and »Environmental Sound«. On the Epistemology, Technology, and Aesthetics of Acoustic Ecologies


Since the late 1960s, the recording and output of sound have increasingly been conceptualized as an environment. Acoustic ecologies contribute significantly to the institutionalization of Sound Studies as a field and to the constitution of sound as an epistemic object. The project works on the specific epistemology of acoustic ecology concepts since the mid-twentieth century from a media studies perspective and determines the role of this theoretical tradition for the history of the interdisciplinary field of Sound Studies. To this end, it focuses on the media history of field recordings as environmental recordings that do not isolate individual sound events through directional techniques of microphonics, but rather seek to convey habitats or ecosystems as specific spheres of action and influence. In this context, the tendency of the acoustic recording to be contaminated by noise is seen not as a problem, but as a potential.


Maren Haffke is a media scientist and musicologist. She is a senior lecturer for sound/digital sound in the Department of Digital and Audiovisual Media at the University of Bayreuth and was previously a postdoctoral fellow in the interdisciplinary research training group »Documentary Practices – Excess and Privation« at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, as well as a fellow in the Mercator Research Group »Spaces of Anthropological Knowledge«, also at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Her dissertation Archäologie der Tastatur. Musikalische Medien nach Friedrich Kittler und Wolfgang Scherer was published by Fink Verlag in 2019. Current research interests include the media history of acoustic ecologies, the epistemology of materialist media theories, the history of digital media, and media of care. Maren Haffke is a member of the editorial board of Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft, and a member of the Forum Antirassismus Medienwissenschaft.


»Adaptive Environments: Ambient Media and the Temporalities of Sonic Self-Care«, in: Hearing, Health and Sound Techniques. Histories, Theories, Practices, London 2022 (im Erscheinen); »The last ocean you will ever need to buy: the app ›Environments‹«, in: Sound Studies, Volume 8, Issue 1 (2022), London 2022; https://doi.org/10.1080/20551940.2022.2025679; »Menschen und Singvögel. Kittlers Materialismus, musikalische Erotik und die Heilung der Schrift«, in: Till Heilmann, Jens Schröter (Hg.), Friedrich Kittler. Neue Lektüren, Berlin 2022, S.171–194.

31 October 2022
  • Lecture
IFK & IFK@Zoom
Maren Haffke

»Listening to Everything, All the Time«. Umgebungsaufnahmen und akustische Ökologien

Akustische Umgebungsmedien versprechen die menschliche Wahrnehmung zu verändern: durch Klänge zu beruhigen, die Konzentration zu steigern oder gänzlich neue Verhältnisse zu den Geräuschen der Welt zu etablieren. Dieser Vortrag stellt akustische Umgebungsmedien am Gelenk von Avantgarden und Gebrauchsmusik, Kybernetik und Naturschutz vor.