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TrancePose: Physical Media Access as an Act of Curiosity

AUDIO CURATION. With so much automated digital curation, what would it look like if we followed our own curiosities?
Published onJun 01, 2023
TrancePose: Physical Media Access as an Act of Curiosity

It is our curiosity that makes us interesting, unique. It’s not what we know, but what we want to know that keeps a conversation alive, a mind activated. It’s a world where we are spoon- (or force-) fed information, not based on what we want to know, but rather what an algorithm has decided we should know: what to wear, where to go, who to date, what to eat. Our individual desires, those very desires that fuel curiosity have been removed. If we don’t consciously choose otherwise, we are simply loudspeakers, channeling and reciting the opinions and preferences of others through the media that is fed to us, “I heard on podcast…;” “the online reviews say it’s got the best margaritas in town;” “I read that movie got bad reviews,” “I bought this full-length body pillow after seeing it over and over again on Instagram.”

Virtual Reality ad, source unknown

But we can choose differently. When we go to a bookshop and wander the shelves, picking up the books that call to us, that’s our curiosity. When we scan the radio and stop at the song or the talk show that speaks to us, that’s our curiosity. When we peruse a record collection, picking up the obscure LP to listen to, that’s our curiosity. What do these experiences have in common? Physical media, selected without algorithms. 

Without wandering down a rose-colored nostalgic path, there was a pre-digital historical sweetspot of physical media, when art was easily found and enjoyed through records, cassettes, and radio (not to mention books and newspapers!). Now, physical media has been collapsed and condensed for digital consumption, spread through algorithms. I propose an audio/ASMR experience, curating and sharing physical media via audio clips.

Read the transcript here.

Keep scrolling for Chapter 2

How do we know what to read? A book club? A reading list? A year, recited over and over again as a warning?  In Chapter 2 of TrancePose: Physical Media Access as an Act of Curiosity, we find ourselves wandering the stacks of a used bookshop. A yellowed, musty novel flies off the shelf from a former future, 1984.

1984 ad, Apple Computers/Chiat/Day

We know about the novel, the film, the Ridley Scott-directed Apple Mackintosh commercial. What about a dystopian poem written and shared between a couple? Join us as our curiosity has us reminiscing about the past and future of 1984 in Chapter 2.

Read the transcript here.

Christine Sweeney is a writer, producer, and radio host living in Berlin. Her work is animated by the silliness and seriousness of our contemporary dystopia. She holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Tulane University in New Orleans. Find her at

Alexander Crompton is a US-French writer living and working in Berlin. You can find him at

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