The Schizophonic Archive


The Schizophonic Archive is comprised of three interrelated projects exploring recorded sound, residual media, and archives.

Stairwell: Lina Dib with Navid Navab

Schizo-Phone: Craig Campbell with Katie Van Winkle, Julián Etienne, Juan Pablo González, Vasilina Orlova, Nora Tyeklar, Tamara Becerra Valdez and Hallie Boas

Radio Sets: Tom Miller with David Goren


“Modern memory is, above all, archival. It relies entirely on the materiality of the trace…” Pierre Nora

Schizophonia, def. The separation of sounds from their sources

The Schizophonic Archives highlight the roles machines play in making the ephemeral tangible and repeatable. Within the Bureau of Memories you will find a number of listening stations marked with the Schizophonic Archives icon:

At these stations you can listen through radios, telephones, and sensors to transient fragments culled from a vast ocean of ethnographic and other sound archives. There are three components to the Schizophonic Archive:

  1. Machines for Transforming Time into Matter: As you enter and exit the gallery space via the main stairwell, your movements will trigger sounds of recently obsolete inscription devices that might sound familiar. Each passage up or down the staircase produces a different combination of sounds.
  2. The Schizo-Phone, a specially reinvented telephone receiver, allows you to call up archival sound fragments from deep ethnographic archives by dialing the appropriate number to listen in on the past.
  1. The antique radio sets placed at intervals throughout the gallery continually broadcast fragments and remixes of field recordings, decaying wax cylinders, and short-wave propaganda broadcasts.

The accompanying guidebooks include information, images, and enigmas related to the polyphonic traces of voices, machines, and static flickering across the soundscape of the Bureau of Memories.


We would like to recognize Conaculta’s Fonoteca Nacional for permission to use materials from their archive.

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