The Wellcome Collection’s ‘Sounding the Archive’ Event

‘Sounding the Archive’ at The Wellcome Collection was a much anticipated event for the LxDII team. The event was curated by Dr Louise Gray, specifically around the investigations of LxD, who were invited to present a joint keynote lecture drawing from their explorations of the collection’s archives. Prof Salomé Voegelin, Prof Anna Barney, Dr Mark Peter Wright and LxDII partner from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, Dr Sandra Pauletto each presented a ten minute presentation of their research, considering what place sound may have within the archive.

In presenting order; Salomé Voegelin approached the Wellcome Collection’s archives by attempting to find and explore the sonic ‘in-between’ of anatomy and poetry and the knowledge that may come from this.

Exploring what we hear and do not hear within archives and tempting us to consider how we may be a little bit like spiders, Mark Peter Wright drew from recordings of the tarantella, a musical therapy for people bitten by the tarantula, as well as the dulcet sounds of wolf spiders purring.

LxD’s own biomedical acoustic engineer Anna Barney worked with an archival image from Fasculo de Medicina, written in 1493, exploring authenticity around the written word describing the sounds we hear in order to diagnose.

Lastly, Sandra Pauletto dissected ideas around data sonification and drew from the handwritten meteorological journals of visually impaired, natural philosopher John Gough.

Four archival books on a table set to a backdrop of a giant book.

An old black and white illustration of the inner ear.

an archival image from Fasculo de Medicina, written in 1495 depicting a cadaver on a table about to be operated on by knife.

Handwritten meteorological journals of visually impaired, natural philosopher John Gough.