INTIMAL is an interdisciplinary art research project to create a novel physical-virtual “embodied system” for relational listening. Through the artistic practice of telematic sonic performance this system will interconnect people’s bodily motion and voice with people’s memories and dreams of distant locations. 

About the project

In the European context of migration and diasporas, and at the intersection of sound art, music cognition, psychology and human-computer interaction, this project will develop INTIMAL: a novel physical-virtual “embodied system” for relational listening. Through the artistic practice of telematic sonic performance this system will interconnect people’s bodily motion and voice with their memories and dreams of distant locations. 

Departing from the question “what is the role of the body as an interface that keeps memory of place” this practice-led research explores the body as a mediator in the listening process in the human migratory experience of cultural and geographical dislocation. Taking as a case study the experience of Colombian migrant women in Europe, INTIMAL will be informed by their listening experiences and tested as a catalyst in a process of healing and reconciliation within the context of Colombian post-conflict and peace building. 

Thus, the system will interrelate the multi-sensorial experience of nine Colombian migrant women who will be deeply listening to their bodies, memories and dreams, as these overlap experiences lived in their native country and in the new places where they have migrated. Memories of a shared historical place will be also triggered, by using creative retrieval of oral archives from testimonies collected by the Commission of Truth and Reconciliation of Colombian Migrant Women. These listening experiences will inform women’s real-time expressions with voice, body and spoken language. The dynamics of these interactions will be further mediated by the Internet, in a public Telematic Sonic Performance, which will interconnect them from the cities of Oslo, London and Barcelona, where they reside. 

Thus, INTIMAL will be an artistic sonic installation/instrument that invites people to achieve flow within individual and shared stories, expanding perceptions of themselves through space and time, reinventing identities and places through new embodied narratives. 

INTIMAL is envisioned as a long term sustainable modular system for interfaces for relational listening that incorporate customizable tools for ‘tuning’ in our contemporary sense of place: establishing connections, and offering sonic spaces for being. 


In this context, the project’s main creative research objectives are:

1) to create an interactive retrieval system of oral archives, which combines semantic and prosodic forms, to facilitate the creative listening to memories of place and conflict;

2) to explore women’s multivocal experience as it creates connections with the body and the feelings of loss associated to place and conflict;

3) to develop interaction possibilities in the physical/virtual space as “dream space/networked state”, that facilitates agency through improvisatory actions between performers, loosening the rigidity of known narratives of the self, and the others, transforming these as expanded embodied vocal expressions. 

Financing and Support

Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship, awarded to Dr. Ximena Alarcón, by the European Commission. Horizon2020.

INTIMAL is being developed at the University of Oslo (UiO). The project is supported and mentored by UiO’s Alexander Refsum Jensenius , the fourMs – Music, Mind, Motion, Machines interfaculty research group, RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion, CRiSAP’S Cathy LaneTrond Lossius, and Kristin Norderval from the Deep Listening community.

The project counts on the support from:

Commission of Truth, memory and reconciliation of Colombian Women in Diaspora

CRiSAP (Creative Research into Sound Art Practice), LCC, UAL

Fundació PHONOS, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

IKLECTIK Art Lab, London

VoxLab, Oslo

The Center for Deep Listening, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


01.09.2017 – 31.08.2019