CURATORIAL STATEMENT

SOUNDSCAPES MEXICO – UK

Fonoteca Nacional de México – Conaculta

Curator: Laura Plana Gracia

Opening Thursday 23 July 2015

Artists: Richard Crow, Robin Rimbaud – Scanner / Katarina Matiasek, Milo Taylor, Nicola Woodham.

Live Concert: Saturday 26 July 2015 Artists: Milo Taylor (UK), Juan José Rivas (MEX), Arcángel Constantini(MEX), Gudinni Cortina (MEX)

This exhibition is presented as part of Dual Year México/United Kingdom and presents sound Works and audiovisual pieces from english artists in Fonoteca Nacional. This exhibition includes a live concert and a workshop with the participation of artists from the UK and Mexico.

The exhibition at Fonoteca Nacional de México – Conaculta features 4 artworks shown as installations in the exhibition space: audio works and sound art pieces presenting soundscapes, field recordings and electronic compositions from the United Kingdom.

The participating artists are Richard Crow, Robin Rimbaud – Scanner, Katarina Matiasek, Milo Taylor and Nicola Woodham.

The work Radio Tarahumara (Tutuguri) is Richard Crow’s creation. It follows the travel of Antonin Artaud to México and “país Tarahumara” and Artaud’s research about the precolombian xamanic rites. Following the spirit of Artaud in México and the poetic of “Theater of Cruelty” it is proposed an installation based in sounds, images and archival material (drawings and photographies of Antonin Artaud) with fragments of sound objects, documentation of past actions and micro-performances.

Robin Rimbaud – Scanner / Katarina Matiasek present the artwork Island Playback. It is an audiovisual installation by Katarina Matiasek (video) and audio by Robin Rimbaud. The audiovisual piece takes us on the coast of an unnamed island in the Mediterranean Sea. Through photography from the sky, a desired harmony is perceived, which functions as a response to the question on the relationship between man and nature. This digital artwork comprises transforming images into sounds. The sound seems to emerge naturally from the landscape. The oscillations of the coast move on the screen, while the islands seem to be in perpetual motion.

Milo Taylor presents a work based in soundscapes from the island of Scotland. The work uses multicanal field recording. It is exhibited as a sound installation in the garden at Fonoteca Nacional. To this recordings, it is added the creation of augmented audio by a process of sound synthesis. There are sounds created algorithmically and composed using Pure Data software.

Nicola Woodham presents the sound work Devolution, a sound installation which combines field recordings of different sound automata. Woodham uses this material to create a fictional soundscape by manipulating sound in space. This work mixes recordings of her own voice, with manipulated field recordings to create many different monstrous “others”. The aim is to create a sound field of fictions created from automation, but where there is a suggestion of a magical existence at play. The work functions as a surround sound installation which aims to project and reinterpret the idea of multiple “representations”.

These four works are soundscapes, field recordings and electronic compositions. The works have been developed following concepts such as acoustic ecology ( a concept developed by Murray Schafer) or acoustic anthropology. The works are sound pieces and audiovisual works that express the possibilities of sound and image about different concepts such as history, geography, technology, ecology and interculturality.

The artists participating in the exhibition have worked as sound artists, with audiovisual, performance, site-specific, music and field recording, as well as doing research in anthropology or culture. From different points of view, each one proposes a personal view to the idea of soundscapes, from the natural environments .and its relation with human society until the influence of the technology.

Since the emergence of the concept of soundscape in the 70s, interdisciplinary studies have been generated looking to stress the complex relations between man and nature in the contemporary world through the use of sound sound and in the theoretical frame of philosophy. The works here presented belong to different theories like Dark Ecology by Timothy Morton, The Three Ecologies by Felix Guattari as well as the concept Anthropocene developed by Bruno Latour. These could be used as a referential frame

Finally, the work are promoting the idea of practices that defend a responsible use of technology, the respect for the environment and the influence of the conservation both natural landscapes and immaterial heritage threaten by nowadays techno-economics.

The exhibition has been done thanks to the collaboration of British Council.

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