In 2014, Andrea Zarza and I wrote this article in the context of MASE, a project which originated years before in the 8th International Meeting of Creation Sensxperiment, a space for a variety of research, work, and action projects about sound art in the Spanish context. In the same way, its website—still active—offered, among other things, a space for documentation, archives and database, which helped elucidate the various lines of interest imbricated in the project, one of which involved public and private archives of sound art—the subject of this article.

In it, Andrea Zarza and I made use of the questionnaire, a research tool that is as trite as it is useful. The questions, which we submitted to an open list of people belonging to institutions, cultural centers, collections and personal sound archives, were divided according to different parts and themes. The first one, containing questions of a more general sort such as “How did the collection progressively accumulate itself?” and whose answer revealed the instability that underpinned the several terms that we used time and again: archive, collection, sound art.

With the answers we composed a text that aspired to analyze the reality, hopes and challenges of these archives and collections to whom the questions were addressed, and endeavored, moreover, to trace a kind of genealogy of sound in our country. Thus, in the article we collected, among others, the wonderful project by José Antonio Sarmiento at the Center of Experimental Creation at the UCLM in Cuenca, the personal archive Étika Makinal within the Archive of Asturian Artists of La Laboral (Gijón), the Sound Library of Experimental Music and Sound Art founded with the personal collection of the artist Francisco López in Murcia, number more than a thousand references…. Also the archive Sonoscop with works of experimental music which draw to a large extent from projects curated by the composer José Manuel Berenguer, the collection of Audiolab, which belonged to the now defunct Arteleku, and, finally, Memorabilia, a research project led by Anna Ramos in the context of Radio Web MACBA, and centering on discovering private collections of music and sound memorabilia.

In short: an utopia.

You can read the article here: