La casa del sonido – Sounding Underground 21/01/11

Por Jose Luis Carles:

“Hoy iniciaremos una serie de programas dedicados a presentar los resultados los trabajos presentados en dicho Encuentro y lo haremos empezando con la propuestas realizadas por la artista colombiana Ximena Alarcon. El trabajo que vamos a presentar de Ximena es un proyecto sobre paisaje sonoro titulado ‘Sounding Underground’. ‘ Sounding Underground’ es un espacio virtual que une los paisajes sonoros de tres sistemas subterráneos de transporte público: London, Paris y México DF, y con ellos la experiencia cultural de las ciudades contemporáneas. Las memorias de pasajeros y su imaginación están representados en sonidos e imágenes que han sido capturados y seleccionados a través de un proceso etnográfico.”

Escucha / Listen to radio Program at: http://www.rtve.es/podcast/radio-clasica/la-casa-del-sonido/


JavaMuseum NewMediaFest 2010 Cologne

“Sound is a very special tool for identification. According to Ximenia Alarcón’s work it is one of the key perceptions for recollecting and giving things a meaning.”

http://2010.javamuseum.org/?p=796

featured in Java Museum and direct link


Mexico and New Orleans – Listening practice & Cross-disciplines

I had the great experience of giving a talk in the festival Visiones Sonoras organised by the CMMAS in Morelia – México. Sounding Underground makes connections between people and their current or lost acoustic environments. Interesting questions about its performative function, and the possibilities of the networks are still in my mind. I enjoyed the emphasis placed on the instruments and objects in all the pieces of the Electroacoustic Concert 5 , it connects me more with the performance.
IV Encuentro Iberoamericano de Paisaje Sonoro
One day later, I presented a paper about Sounding Underground in the IV Encuentro Iberoamericano de Paisaje Sonoro organised by the Fonoteca Nacional in Mexico City. A very diverse and interesting cross-disciplinary and cross-arts reflection about “Paisaje Sonoro” (Soundscape). Excellent speakers and attendants, a learning experience about listening and creating: Whales, Flamencos, Veracruz, San Juan Potosí, Islas Resonantes, Bells (Chile and Mexico), Cartography Mobile experiences, Water, an Electroacoustic concert in 10.0 and lessons about Silence.

Last but not least, I attended to the American Anthropological Association AAA Conference in New Orleans, as speaker in the Session: “Perception, production and circulation: Sensory Ethnography through media” organised by Julia Yezbick and Aryo Danusiri from Harvard University. Sensory Ethnography is a new field where Sounding Underground experience fits very well, and gets nourishment from Anthropology.

Thanks to all the organisers and great people that I met through all these three wonderful events.


IBM social software unconference

Organised by Andrew Sempere. Thanks!

My three words… listening, underground, migration… I think.

Session Identity, territory and social migration (Ximena + Edith)

and my tweet:

“Democracies should be undemocracies”

Keynote speaker: Amanda Palmer!!

Great people, talks and conversations.

Hoping to follow and maintain links!


Royal Geographical Society – Sonic Methods

“Sounding Underground: Listening, performing and transforming” was the paper given in the Annual International Conference of the Royal Geographical Society in London. The Session “Sonic Methods” organised by Michael Gallagher and Jonathan Prior, was a rich environment to share different methods that study our acoustic experiences and their cultural and artistic value. At the end of the day we had a one minute recording experiment with loop tapes. A real challenge!

The Theme of the conference was sustainability, and perhaps this last exercise proposed by Michael Gallagher, is a representation of old media and its degradation, the qualities of degradation and a technology that records just one minute making of it ephemeral in the recording but rich in the experience. If you just have one minute in a tape to record, what would you record?

This experience is so refreshing in this digital world where “memory” is a commodity, as regards machines, and our own “memory” can get lost in a (too much) over information. The importance of reflect, and listen to each moment as if it was the last minute available to listen…


Network Musical Performance Workshop

I had the great opportunity to be one of the four participants in the workshop Network Musical Performance Workshop: Technical and Artistic strategies to perform around the globe, led by Juan Pablo Cáceres at CCRMA – Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University.

This workshop has been keen to contextualize the Improvisation “Listening and Remembering” within the Sounding Underground environment, and to envision its development over the Internet.


Deep Listening Retreat

A summer Sounding, Dreaming, and Listening with the whole body. Deep Listening is a wide and profound listening practice and philosophy developed by the composer Pauline Oliveros, who works in collaboration with the artist IONE and the performer Heloise Gold.

I lived a 20th Annual Retreat engaged in collaborations for performance, improvisations, and dreaming, while breathing fully the Spanish soundscape in Nau Coclea and connecting with all participants and the world that surrounds us. The atmosphere of Deep Listening nourishes deeply Sounding Underground: its conception, artistic and performative practice and research.

Thanks to all!


Festival Internacional de la Imagen

Sounding Underground participated in the Festival Internacional de la Imagen organised by the Faculty of Design at the Universidad de Caldas in Manizales, Colombia. This is a great International event which I would like to attend personally next year. I felt proud of participating for the second time. First with the Interactive Sonic Environment – London, and this second year with Sounding Underground – London, Mexico and Paris.


Qualitative Research in web 2.0: the next leap, Berlin 2010

I had the pleasure of attending the conference Qualitative Research 2.0: the next leap, in Berlin, organised by the Merlien Institute. With the participation of both marketing researchers and academic researchers, we reflected critically on the possibilities and social issues of conducting qualitative research using web 2.0 tools.
My paper: “From the underground to the Internet: issues of ethnography, ethics and identities”. It was welcomed as an excellent example of the use of ethnography and the internet.

A good strategy offered by the organiser Jasper Lim was to leave the conference with “take aways”, which I found very helpful and innovative. Well, here are my “take aways”:

1. Web 3.0 is envisioned as a performative space for individuals. Ethnography and art are well suited for this vision! This is a plus-plus take away for Sounding Underground!
2. Best approaches to qualitative research using web 2.0 tools were identified as hybrids, and dependent on the context and the participants (off-line and on-line).
3. There was a “Theory of Technique”: some web tools work better than others for particular objectives in a research, e.g. real time or asynchronous.
4. Identities: imagined, constructed, and real. How much social healing can be derived from this amazing research?
5. Politics: Using Social Media as political marketing, but also as a way of bringing people closer to the candidates. A new and exciting research topic. This is an important year for many countries with regards to elections: Lithuania, the UK and Colombia! Are social media, politically speaking, equally influential in developed and developing countries?

Thanks to all the participants! this was a truly nourishing conference!

The Berlin u-bhan (metro), without barriers (turnstiles, obstacles) when commuting. How much Berlin has to teach the world about breaking walls! A powerful and admirable city. Thanks Berlin!


Sounding Underground in Riders on the Train

riders on the train exhibition
The second and third rewarding presentations for “Sounding Underground” took place in Boston, MA, within the “Riders on the Train” exhibition curated by Nance Davies in Axiom Gallery. The Axiom Gallery is situated right on top of the Green St. station of the Bostonian metro “T” . The rumbling of the trains are heard and felt every five or ten minutes depending on the hour of the day. Cell phone pictures are the welcoming view from outside on the wall of the exhibition, divided by a video of meeting trains, go and return, created by Nance Davies. Interactive, audiovisual, video, photographic, graphic, text, and sound works bring the powerful experience of underground transport systems in one place, as perceived from artists from all over the world. On the 20th of November, I had the pleasure to participate of an artists’ talk where we had the chance to share our creation processes with the community. Personal motivations meet the political, social and symbolic contexts of these underground environments. This is a very rich and sensual exhibition that, if you have the good luck of being in Boston, and if you are or have been a commuter in public transportation… you must go!

Earlier in the day, I attended to the Studio for Interrelated Media at MASSart college to deliver a talk to students of Sound Art and Technology. I had a very enjoyable time listening to students talk about Boston’s commuting experiences, motivated by my talk about Sounding Underground and the experiences of London, Mexico DF and Paris commuters. The experience of listening to their commuting in Boston starts… and in a future it hopefully will be linked and accessed via Sounding Underground!

Thanks to Nance Davies for this amazing opportunity.