Slow Down

Sounding Machine’s Ecologies

Slow Down is an artistic research that problematize the dominant technological perspective based on mechanical reproductivity and replacement. It proposes to re-think technology from a sonic sensibility shaped by a multiplicity of intertwined sonic practices, searching through diverse realms and scales an articulation of locality.

It is a research that, from a sonic sensibility, delves into questions such as, How does an ecology of machines sound? Or in more detail, How local experiences inform the technical relations we could establish with machines once we recognize those agencies as something beyond the externalization of human thought? Are we able to make a sound from such relations and are we able to know such relations by listening? Do sonic practices have been dealing with such possibilities the whole time?

Machine Ecology #1 is its first emanation, an effort to evocate
an ecology where humans, machines and natures relate trough self-organized structures and processes

UdK Berlin SoundS Master Exhibition at Collegium Hungaricum Berlin,26-29 May 2022

Field Recording Locations

The first sonic practice of the research was field recording.

This first movement was about listening ecologies and how their experiences ground in their localities.

Field recorder mediated listening became a bodily exercise that extended to thought through abstractions based on different scientific fields, as complex system theory, quantum physics and general relativity.

I engaged in this practice for a period of 52 days, starting from Ventanas, Chile, and then I moved to Brazil, spending small periods in Cumuruxatiba, Santo André and Serra do Cipó.

The territory between Mantagua and Ventanas is characterized by a 40 Km industrial train-rail crossing a natural reservation, and ex detention and torture center from Pinochet's dictatorship, and one of the most polluted zones of Chile, the industrial center of Ventanas, also know as a sacrifice zone.

Cumuruxatiba is a little village at the south of Bahia state. The place where the extraction of monazite sand began. This sand is rich in thorium, a weakly radioactive metallic chemical element used in the manufacture of radiotherapy equipment, luminous salts and breeding of uranium-233.
Here I gathered field recordings of the beach where there was an old artificial monazite dune made by John Gordon company, the first monazite exploitation company of Brazil, and some other landscapes in a 5 Km radius.

Santo André is another little village at the south of Bahia state, this time located in an environmental protection area well known for its extensive sea turtle conservation efforts and its rich mangrove ecosystems. Here I started recording at different beaches and mangroves, and started moving towards the village, gravitating around places where local people, tourists, and nature met in complex but subtle soundscapes.

Serra do Cipó is one of the oldest territories of Brazil.
A dry place home of cave painting and aquatic fossils at 500 Km from the Atlantic Ocean.

Being immerse in those places, engaged in a field recording practice, made me think about the influence of our temporal perception of intensities in shaping an intuitive idea of organicity. This motivated a theoretical research on self-organization of time that led me to study the temporal unfolding at the nanoscale, where I found that the emergence of time is not exclusive to life forms. From there, I went back to machines with two concept for epistemic operations, transduction and dislocation. These two process were embodied in a practice of design and building sound machines, setting relations between nature and technology through a sonic sensibility.


Ecology's Machines

The second practice of the research was the design and built of synthesizers as a performative response to the lived experiences and reflections of the field recording trip.
By means of transductions and dislocations I conceptualized three synthesizers, which were designed and built over a period of one month in a half in a process that, on one side, transduced and dislocated elements of the experienced and researched systems into machines, and in another, embodied the self organization of ecosystems in itself.

Bring Forth

is the first machine I thought of, designed and built. It consists of eight two-pole state variable filters and eight voltage control amplifiers.
This machine is about bringing into being sounds that are sustained by their own internal resonances.

Time Space

is the second machine I thought of, designed and built. It is formed by eight delays and eight reverbs. 
Its becoming is a gesture of bridging cosmological scales to nano scales suggested by the leap from self-organized time to self-organized space.

Buckling Warble

is a versatile generator of signal pulses for audio or control purposes. It is able of generate low frequency “organic” pulses from field recordings inputs, and to generate self-organized pulses from audio signal feedback coming from Bring Forth and Time Space.
Its presence in the ecology articulates the temporal internal resonance of the machinic ensemble and its relation with nature and memory.