Libraries of Voices


In both their phonographic and their atmospheric forms, the preserved voices are described as books or pages in a ‘library’, recalling how a person’s spoken words had previously needed to be written down in order to survive. In the former, it seems we have a palpable archive of phonographic recordings, lined up on shelves like books to be read by a sensitive needle. In the latter, sonorous vibrations seem to be imprinted onto the atoms of the air around us. The phonographic library has to be actively created. It can be handled and arranged, while the atmospheric library is everywhere, uncontrollably expanding…