It was a very nourishing experience for me, being part of the Track 3 session: “Sound and Voice: Art, Practices and Politics” at the RE:Sound conference, Sound, Media and Art, which took place in Aalborg, Denmark, from August 19th to August 24th, In the panel shared with Luz Maria Sánchez – Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Lerma (Chair of the Track), and Luis Carlos Sotelo – Concordia University, we shared different approaches to listen in contexts of violence and migration, and with a common ground on listening to women’s accounts and bringing these voices in art and performative forms. In our overlapping research-practices we explore contexts of Colombia and Mexico, and look paths for different traumatic stories to be heard by others, within the axis of political voice and reaching resonances in the broader population, using the voice as a “trigger” of specific healing processes as individuals and as a society.
My presentation, “Ellos no están entendiendo nada” [“They are not understanding anything”]: Listening to Embodied Memories of Colombian Migrant Women, reflecting on conflict and migration, focused on complex embodied narratives that emerge in the INTIMAL Long Distance Improvisation (Telematic Sonic Performance), and was co-authored with Alexander Refsum Jensenius.
The panel was moderated by Iris Garrelfs, Goldsmiths University of London.
I received a gift kindly provided by Margaret Schedel: a copy of the book “Artful Design” by Ge Wang.
Pamela Z award in the NIME Conference, was created last year and recognizes a person who is doing significant work that improves the discussion about diversity in NIME either through their research connecting people or through actions such as organisation and awareness.
This year the awardee of the Pamela Z main award is precisely the composer Margaret Schedel, who has contributed to the inclusion of diversity and NIMEs (New Interfaces for Musical Expression), and her co-authored paper “Women’s Labor: Creating NIMEs from Domestic Tools”.
Thanks to the jury of Pamela Z Award 2019:
Isabel Nogueira, Astrid Bin, Anna Weisling, Ana Maria Romano Gomez, Anna Xambó
Honoured for being one of three women Keynote speakers in Sonologia, an International Conference on Sound Studies organised by NUSOM, at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. I had the opportunity to meet Susan Campos Fonseca and Mara Mills, and listen to their research. Impressed with the diversity and quality of all the papers, presentations, panels and performances. Happy to know many experiences such as Sonora community, Lilian Campesato, Tania Mello Neiva, Martina Raponi, the NUSOM Interactive Practice Group, Mene Savasta, Laura Novoa, Camila Juárez, Mario Duarte, the sonorities of Barti Ra and Mariana Carvalho, Orquesta Errante, Budhaditya Chattopadhyay, and many many more. Grateful with the organisers and very pleased to see them as an academic creative community working for opening all forms of listening and expressing to find a voice and creating communities in challenging political and social times in Brazil and all over the world. Impressed and grateful, from my heart!
My keynote was in Spanish and here an abstract in Spanish and followed by the English version.
INTIMAL: un espacio de escucha relacional para fluir entre fragmentos de memoria, migración y conflicto
Cuando migramos, experimentamos un cambio radical en nuestra experiencia multisensorial espacial y temporal en el cuerpo (Ahmed, 2000), que influye en la percepción de nosotros mismos y de los demás. Escuchamos de forma sutil y directa cuestiones de género, clase y estigma cultural a través de voces, idiomas y en el entorno acústico circundante; al mismo tiempo, guardamos la memoria de nuestra tierra natal en sonidos, que reflejan o desafían la experiencia en la tierra extranjera. Durante siete años he explorado el espacio intermedio sonoro, con migrantes de todo el mundo, a través de la práctica de la escucha profunda – Deep Listening (Oliveros, 2005) y la improvisación sonora telemática, con palabra hablada y otros sonidos, abriendo espacios para la expresión y conexión entre migrantes y sus narrativas (Alarcón 2014; 2015; 2016; 2017). La escucha profunda envuelve meditaciones, trabajo de sueños y movimiento corporal energético, que nos invitan a disolver las fronteras creadas por identidades fijas que imponen juicios. La mediación tecnológica fortalece las metáforas de migración, ampliando nuestra percepción del tiempo y el espacio, y la posibilidad de establecer diálogos con desconocidos. El trabajo de investigación se convierte en una estrategia artística para unir fragmentos de memorias de lugar, disolver las barreras culturales, permitiendo la expresión de sentimientos de pérdida, y la generación de empatía. En esta charla, hablaré de INTIMAL, un sistema virtual físico “incorporado” para la escucha relacional que integra movimientos del cuerpo, la palabra hablada y la voz, y archivos orales. Investigando las experiencias de escucha de nueve mujeres migrantes colombianas en Londres, Oslo y Barcelona, en el contexto del postconflicto, he integrado métodos de cognición musical del cuerpo (Jensenius, 2018), para observar la expresión plena de sus “viajes migratorios”, y sus reacciones de escucha a archivos orales con testimonios de otras mujeres colombianas sobre experiencias del conflicto. El sistema estimula la escucha relacional, para fluir entre fragmentos de recuerdos de migración y conflicto, en improvisaciones físicas (co-locadas) y telemáticas, alimentando la sensación de lugar, y la sensación de presencia en la distancia, como una práctica acústica y vibracional (Eidsheim, 2015). Las narrativas emergentes abren vías para expandir espacios corporales y acústicos en la vida cotidiana, mejorando su intervención social y abriendo espacios intermedios en la perspectiva dual de Insider/Outsider.
INTIMAL: a space for relational listening to flow in-between fragments of memory, migration and conflict
When in migration, we experience a radical change in our spatial and temporal embodied multisensorial experience (Ahmed, 2000). This influences the perception of ourselves and others, while issues of gender, class, and cultural stigma emerge subtly and directly heard in voices, languages and in the surrounding acoustic environment; in tandem, we keep memories of our native land in our sonic and embodied memories, which mirror or defy the experience in the host land. During seven years I have explored the sonic inbetweeness, with migrants from all over the world, through Deep Listening practice (Oliveros, 2005) and improvisatory sonic telematic performance, with spoken word and other sounds, opening spaces for the expression and connection between migrants and narratives of migration (Alarcón 2014; 2015; 2016; 2017). Deep Listening involves listening meditations, dream awareness and energy body movement, helping us to dissolve borders created by the fixity of cultural identities and judgmental statements. The technological mediation strengthens migration metaphors, expanding our perception of time and space, and the possibility of stablishing dialogues with unknown people. The research work becomes an artistic strategy to join fragments of memories of place, dissolve mental and cultural barriers, allowing feelings such as loss, to be expressed, and to generate empathy. In this talk, I will describe the development of INTIMAL, a physical virtual “embodied” system for relational listening that integrates body movements, spoken word and voice, memories of place, and oral archives. Informed by the listening experiences of nine Colombian migrant women in London, Oslo and Barcelona, in the context of Colombia’s post-conflict, I have integrated methods of Embodied Music Cognition (Jensenius, 2018) to observe the full embodied expression of their “migratory journeys” and the responses of oral archives with testimonies of other Colombian women about experiences in the conflict. The system supports relational listening (English, 2015), as a process to flow between fragments of memories of migration and conflict, in co-located and telematic performances, nourishing at once their sensing of place, and sensingof presence, as acoustic and vibrational practice (Eidsheim, 2015). Women’s emerging narratives open avenues to expand their embodied acoustic spaces in the daily life, improving their agency while actively intervening the Insider/Outsider perspective.
I had the great opportunity to share with the public at MIXTUR Festival in Barcelona, different aspects of the INTIMAL project. Thanks to the organisation and the Fundación Phonos, and for all listeners for the nourishing questions and comments.
Happy to announce that my first paper from the INTIMAL project “Conceptual Design for INTIMAL: A Physical/Virtual Embodied System for Relational Listening” has been published today in the Journal of Somaesthetics, in the issue dedicated to “Somaesthetics and Technology”.
This paper describes the preliminary design of INTIMAL: a physical-virtual embodied interactive system for relational listening in the context of human migration, within the artistic practice of improvisatory telematic sonic performance. Informed by the Deep Listening experiences of nine Colombian migrant women in Europe, INTIMAL departs from their sensorial experience in dreams, virtual and physical spaces, for a holistic understanding of the body as interface that keeps memory of place. In counterpart with an oral archive of other women’s testimonies from the Colombian civil war, body movements, voice and spoken words act as resonances opening paths for healing experiences of loss.