Sonic memories as embodiments of technological infrastructure

'Collective Womb' By Ximena Alarcón

‘Collective Womb’ By Ximena Alarcón

Commemorating 150 years of the construction of the London Underground, the Centre for Metropolitan History (IHR), in association with the London Transport Museum organised the conference ‘Going Underground – travel beneath the metropolis 1863-2013’. Here perspectives from artists, architects, historians, engineers, and commuters were brought together to reflect on the past, present and future of this iconic urban infrastructure.

Here you can listen to the podcast of the paper I presented in the conference on the 17th of January, 2013:

Listening and sounding in the London Underground: sonic memories as embodiments of technological Infrastructure

Here you can listen to all the papers presented at the conference:

Many thanks to the organisers for bringing together all the people who have been fascinated with the underground environment.


Cities Methodologies 2011

Sounding Underground in exhibition at Cities Methodologies in UCL London

Sounding Underground in exhibition at Cities Methodologies in UCL London

Sounding Underground exhibition in Cities Methodologies 2011!

Inaugurated in 2009, CitiesMethodologies showcases innovative methods in urban research.

Visitors to Cities Methodologies encounter diverse methods of urban research in
juxtaposition – from archival studies to statistical analyses, practice-led art, architectural and
design work to oral history, writing, walking, performances, film-making and photography.

Cities Methodologies promotes cross- and inter-disciplinary work, and showcases recent
research on a wide range of cities.

Participants are drawn from right across UCL, as well as from De Montfort University, CUNY,
University of Edinburgh, Goldsmiths, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Humboldt
Universität Berlin, LSE, University of Manchester, National University of the Arts, Bucharest,
Queen Mary’s University of London, and the University of Westminster.

Weds 4 May, 18.30 to 21.00
Thurs 5 May, 10.00 to 20.00
Friday 6 May, 10.00 to 20.00
Saturday 7 May, 10.00-13.00

Venue: Slade Research Centre, Woburn Square, London, WC1H 0AB.
All events are free. No booking required except where stated.

Programme updates:

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…

Sounding Underground in Sound Ecologies

The first weeks of on-line life of “Sounding Underground” have been rewarding. I have had the opportunity to share the experience of its creation in three venues. The first one: Sound Ecologies: Listening to the City, event organised by Katharine Norman from the City University in London, and the independent artistic organisation Furtherfield. Sharing with other speakers, and attendants to the event was nourishing and positioned this experience as a networked experience that owes its value to the ethnographic and detail process behind it. Although the virtual Environment Sounding Underground is an important milestone there are many issues that will evolve for the contributors and audiences. It’s vital for the project to strength the networking technological options and strive for the participation of non-performers focusing amongst others, on aspects mentioned by Pedro Rebelo such as networked dramaturgia in improvisation activities on-line and off-line. Thanks to Katharine for organising such an important and enjoyable event! The work continues…

Sound Ecologies: Listening in the City

I’ll give a talk about “Sounding Underground” in the following event:


10am-4pm, Wednesday 18th November 2009
Department of Music, City University London, Northampton Square,
London EC1V 0HB

A day of presentations, participatory workshops and informal performance
around themes of urban sound, networked sound, locative media and
acoustic ecology – the relationship between living beings and their
environment, as mediated by sound. Featuring Furtherfield (Ruth Catlow
and Marc Garrett), and guest speakers Stanza, Peter Cusack, Ximena
Alarcón and Pedro Rebelo.

The event is free, and open to anyone interested, including musicians,
artists, curators, technologists; ecologically inclined thinkers, makers
and doers of all kinds.

For further information please visit

Space is limited. To reserve your place at Sound Ecologies please visit

SOUND ECOLOGIES: LISTENING IN THE CITY is a partnership event funded by

convened by Katharine Norman, Department of Music, City University
London and

Murals London, Paris, in México DF

By Rafael Calduro:

BBC NEWS | UK | Open verdict at Menezes inquest

I share deeply the pain of this family for the injustice committed against their son, Jean Charles de Menezes in the London Underground.