Related contents

Around Sound II

While technology is inherent in human existence, a strategy that we have developed as a species to overcome limitations, and sometimes the hostility of nature, in recent decades has become a sphere that has not only transformed us into ourselves in a radical way, but also the world we inhabit.

In this new series of Around Sound, we wanted to use this medium to get closer to the nature/technology axis as two aspects that are increasingly present in the social debate and, as a result, in the work of many contemporary artists, as can be seen in in much of the content that is outlined this year in the different sections of Curtocircuíto.

Through a selection of sound proposals, we will address issues related to our relationship with the environment from cultural studies, artistic experimentation, the design of interfaces, musical creation and, of course, film production.

Works like FIELD by Martin Messier, in which he experiments with the residual frequencies of electromagnetic fields produced by the conglomerate of devices that surround us daily, or the MELT performance/installation by the Danish artist Jacob Kirkegaard, made from sound recordings of the melting of glaciers made with hydrophones, are two examples of how sound can reveal to us landscapes otherwise inaccessible.

The whale is also a recurring subject when we approach our relationship with nature. Almost more geography than animal, in the words of Philip Hoare, the whale has been equally the object of exploitation and fascination. This contradictory relationship is present in the filmography of Jessica Sarah Rinland and in some of the works of the investigator José Luis Espejo on modern visual and sound culture.

But it is also necessary to think of the ways in which such a complex reality is transmitted and represented in listening, especially in audiovisual production. The sound engineer Amanda Villavieja brings us closer to the creative practice of sound capture for documentary and fictional films, turning the microphone into a calligraphic tool, while Charly Schmukler focuses on the alchemy of sound design and on the role it plays as an essential element in narrative construction.

Halfway between these two representation strategies are works such as Symphony for Urbanities in which Playtronica produces an interactive piece where the sounds of the city of Santiago de Compostela are deconstructed through physical contact. The human body merges with its surroundings converted into an instrument. This mediation is just another example of the naturalization process of possible technology, in this case, owing to open-source devices developed by the collective itself and that will be the basis on which they will also present their concert for vegetables and a workshop for children.

The purpose of this program is, as in the previous edition, “to claim the place of the eardrum along with the retina” and to make us aware of the importance of sound as a means of knowledge and experimentation in the world.


Xoán-Xil López