Mnemosonic Recollection

Summer 2023

20.2. – 24.2.2023

Universität / Haute École
Graeme Thomson and Silvia Maglioni
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Content description

Precisely where they become controllable and objectified, where the subject believes himself entirely sure of them, memories fade like delicate wallpapers in bright sunlight. But where, protected by oblivion, they keep their strength, they are endangered like all that is alive.

Theodor Adorno - Minima Moralia


In Yoko Ogawa’s dystopian novel, The Memory Police, things whose existence and durability have been taken for granted are made to disappear quite arbitrarily, and not long afterwards, also the memory that they had ever existed.  For our sound workshop, Mnemosonic Recollection, we want to imagine sound and radio in particular as a mode of resistance to such cancellation and forgetting. Perhaps more than images, it is sonic traces, descriptions, artifacts, evocations and reconstructions that can carry and preserve the affective relation we have to objects, ideas and experiences. Speculatively projecting ourselves into a regime of arbitrary and enforced forgetting such as that imagined by Ogawa – one that is not so far from certain ecological, political and technological contexts of today’s world, beginning with the acceleration of extinction as a biocultural phenomenon – we will ask how we can develop and deploy mnemosonic strategies and forms to keep alive not only the knowledge but the sense and feel of what is most precious to us.


The workshop will be divided into several phases, beginning with the fostering of affective listening through an exploration of examples and concepts from sound art, cinema, experimental music and sound theory.

Then, starting by looking at the range of methods we have developed for Firefly Frequencies – an experimental online radio/podcasting platform we co-founded two years ago with artist Nikolay Olenyikov and curator/educator Alessandra Pomarico – we will consider different ways of producing podcasts and other sonic forms. 

Following this we will focus more specifically on ideas and techniques of sound recording and gathering, editing, mixing, sampling and other forms of signal processing and manipulation.

Throughout this process we will try to imagine together the potential disappearance of a number of things that are important to us (which could be objects, ideas species, languages, works, customs, emotions, forms of life) thinking how we might use sound to “recollect” these as part of a mnemosonic resistance movement.

Finally we will work in small groups to produce a podcast, sowing the seeds for the awakening of new memories in the mists of forgetting.  

The resulting podcasts will be uploaded on Firefly Frequencies and broadcast on our partner interlocal network, Lumbung Radio (documenta fifteen).