2021-23 Fay Chandler Creativity Grant

Deborah Garcia’s RECORDAR. Credit: Graphic Services
Deborah Garcia’s RECORDAR. Credit: Graphic Services
Deborah Garcia’s RECORDAR. Credit: Graphic Services

A spatial sound system for communal navigating, layering, and remixing


There is a noise coming from the institution, from deep within. There is a noise coming from the table.

RECORDAR is a multi-channel recording and broadcasting sound system, scaled to the dimensions of the theatrical for acts—past, present, and future. Conceived of as a sound-throne, a built-in space for sitting and communing at the base of the tower provides an opportunity to experience low frequency vibrations oscillating through the material of the tower. A rumbling porch, a staircase towards a dark portal of inner thunder and sonic layering.

When activated for live performance and real-time engagement, the  recording system can be engaged (and disengaged) through a touch-sensor system. When not engaged for live performance, the sound tower processes an archive of recordings, both past and present, into a real-time audio experience, layering, looping, and remixing sounds from its recorded history. Remembering, recordando. The ghostly history of RECORDAR is present even when not occurring in real-time or in the space itself.


Past Events

RECORDAR Exhibition at MIT

On view April 7 – May 12, 2023
MIT Department of Architecture’s Keller Gallery, Building 7-408
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
Open to the public Mondays through Saturdays, 9:00am – 6:00pm. Visitors are encouraged to touch or sit at the base of the tower where low-frequency vibrations are felt by the listener.

More information: MIT Department of Architecture

Event: Live Performance of RECORDAR
April 7, 2023 / 5:30pm

The sound system listens in on a live dialogue that will engage the sound system’s recording, live editing, and remixing capabilities, navigating what it means to be on or off the record. A novel transcription code allows a speedy publication to be produced, a quick and dirty but perhaps more honest version of what tends to disappear in typical publication and knowledge creating processes: candor, honesty, and spontaneity. The video performance will be followed by an immediate release party of the RECORDAR transcript.

Event: RECORDAR Remembers the MET Warehouse
April 11, 2023 / 10:00am

Presented by the sonic researchers of the workshop Spectres of Architecture: Investigating Belonging(s) at the MET Warehouse led by Deborah Garcia. Graduate students Jenna Schnitzler and Iris Yuting Zeng present a history of the MET Warehouse and its presence in the anti-war student-led protests of 1969, its vast storage micro-dramas, and its current state of sonic and material leakage. Visitors are encouraged to listen and play a loud-speaking model of the MET Warehouse that will be plugged into the larger RECORDAR soundsystem and view a video compilation of the workshop’s semester-long sound recording sessions in the building’s current redevelopment, as well as curated archival material.

RECORDAR Performance at Exhibit Columbus 2023

August 25 & 26, 2023
Columbus, Indiana

The exhibition features outdoor, site-responsive installations created by 2022–23 participants.


MIT Department of Architecture’s 2020-21 Marion Mahony Emerging Practitioner Fellow Deborah Garcia is a designer, writer, and curator. 

Biography: MIT Architecture Department 
Social: Instagram


Directed by Deborah Garcia

A SEAT AT THE TABLE is funded in part by a 2022 Fay Chandler Creativity Grant awarded by the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology.