Accepted paper:

Schizophonic Anthropology


Hein Schoer (The Sounding Museum)

Paper short abstract:

Two Weeks in Alert Bay and Schizophonie 8 are two very different pieces. The first is a soundscape composition focussing on presenting the contemporary culture of the Kwakwaka'wakw of Alert Bay, BC, the latter transcends geographic and cultural roots its source materials have once been linked to.

Paper long abstract:

Made almost entirely from field recordings, "Two Weeks in Alert Bay" and "Schizophonie 8" are two very different pieces. While the first focuses on presenting aspects of the contemporary culture of the Kwakwaka'wakw of Alert Bay, BC, in the form of a soundscape composition, the latter one transcends all geographic and cultural roots its source materials may once have been linked to. This juxtaposition picks up a phenomenon identified as one central obstacle as defined by the Sounding Museum. What happens to sounds that are taken away from their source? What effects occur when they are reassembled elsewhere, in a syncrisis that would have been impossible in the "real" world? When the original atmosphere gets lost, a new aura emerges between the sound and the listener, to supply her/him with the affects necessary to initiate reflection. But what if the source material is contextualised in a way that eludes the listener's analysis? Diverging sounds from all kinds of places, situations, and contexts, mostly unprocessed, then again some heavily altered, mostly field recorded found sounds, are shuffled into a potpourri of in-determination. Both pieces ultimately play with listener expectations; familiar elements interchange with others that don't seem to make any sense at all. They demonstrate that the frame of reference, the knowledge about the elements of the system and their interrelations, determines not only aesthetic judgement, but may also trigger animosity. In that sense, it is the artful answer to the Sounding Museum's struggle with orientalism, coevalness, and other schizogenic challenges.

panel WP003
Sound programme: "Utopic Dystopias: Dystopic Utopias" [Workshop]