Journal of Sonic Studies

Issue 19

Issue 19

Fists Up: Orchestrating Silence in Mexico City’s Post-Earthquake Rescuing Activities (2020) Elisa Corona Aguilar
On 9 September 2017, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale hit Mexico City, causing the collapse of more than fifty buildings and damaging many others. As the usual urban soundscape intensified with the general chaos, the collapsed buildings and their vicinities were filled with new, unusual loudness, but there was also silence, partial and momentary. It was a hope for survivors, a call to listen again and again when there were sounds of life among the ruins. Fists raised up in the air became the generalized call for silence, a way to communicate both attention and pause in the activity around a specific place. As the media spread images of the fists up and how this signal created silence, its layered meanings became present. Through a series of interviews with participants and witnesses of the rescue activities and a compilation of journalistic text and images, I will trace the brief history and transformation of the fists up gesture, and I will explore the implications of orchestrating silence in emergency circumstances.
open exposition
The City of Noise: an Approach to the Multiple Senses of Sound in Buenos Aires (2020) Facundo Petit de Murat and Martina Di Tullio
In this article we propose a historical approach to noise in Buenos Aires during the first half of the twentieth century. During this period, Buenos Aires consolidated itself materially and symbolically as a modern city. Through the study of historical documents, we identified different meanings of noise in relation to progress, health, culture, silence, space, and time. The main argument is that, at first, social imaginary associated noise to progress; however, this view rapidly changed in the search for an ideal of relative silence. In this process, some specific sonic practices started being classified as uncivilized. In this sense, the modern imaginary? delineates the boundaries of what is acoustically tolerable; this produces human subjects perceived as morally inferior, whose practices must be legally regulated. This is the context for the emergence of devices aimed at controlling and mitigating urban noise: legal norms and measuring systems that intend to regulate – albeit inefficiently – the sonic habitus.
open exposition
Sound and Politics. Shaping Current Artistic Practices in Latin America (2020) Lukas Kühne
In some ways, the current political landscape of Latin America seems to mirror the condition of the world today. However, the impact achieved by the collective creativity of the pueblo, its communitarian understanding and acting, should never be underestimated. Nevertheless, Latin America does not seem to shy away from complexity or change. Without wanting to idealize, this trait can also be seen to work within arte sonoro's current artistic practices and manifestations. These subjective observations are based on my 15 years of work as an artist, curator and academic at the State University UdelaR (Universidad de la República) in Montevideo with a focus on arte sonoro in Uruguay.
open exposition


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