In response to Christine Mitchell’s question on the balance between archiving vs. media archaeology, I see Shannon’s point how sometimes the historical conditions of playback matter less than other times. Yet Shannon’s other point about the meta-dimension to sound recording to historical subjects, that is, the sonic archival document is at once a recording of a historical event and a record of its own recording practice, becomes important when you’re talking about i.e. race, sound, and the archive. (like they’re doing at my school next month –> http://aihr.uva.nl/content/events/events/2018/12/entanglements-of-race.html)
For example, sound registers a bodily reality in addition to semantic meanings. The idea of the grain of the voice then gains a very direct political dimension. Also, the recording shapes how the sound is recorded in the first place (i.e. a condenser microphone records all sounds in the vicinity or just a single voice or maybe it drowns out high tones or low tones). A study of colonial sound archive shows that racialized listening practices span across the recording, distribution and archiving of the document. Maybe in studying sound and the archive in particular, media archaeology and archiving cannot be separate practices?