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III CIPS - Sounds of the end of the world





Ana Ochoa.jpg

Ana María Ochoa (Tulane University) is a professor in the Newcomb Department of Music, the Department of Communication and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Her work is on histories of listening and the decolonial, on sound studies and climate change, and on the relationship between the creative industries, the literary and the sonic in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her current projects explore the bioacoustics of life and death in colonial histories of the Americas and the relationship between sound, climate change and the colonial. She has been a Distinguished Greenleaf Scholar in Residence at Tulane University (2016) and a Guggenheim Fellow (2007-2008). She has served on the advisory boards of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, and the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Her book, Aurality, Listening and Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century Colombia (Duke University Press, 2014) was awarded the Alan Merriam Prize by the Society for Ethnomusicology. She is also the author of Músicas locales en tiempos de globalización (Buenos Aires: Norma 2003) and Entre los Deseos y los Derechos: Un Ensayo Crítico sobre Políticas Culturales (Bogotá: Ministerio de cultura, 2003) and numerous articles in Spanish and English.


Cosmopolitics and sound design

This text focuses on the framework that is woven between the worlds that end and those that emerge, between what breaks down and is reconstituted. The work is politically located in the potential that opens before the end of the humanist conception of man and music as an exclusively human product and proposes sound design as a concept that allows exploring a cosmopolitics of what is more than human. Derived from the industrial development, the notion of design has been updated from the question of life policies (Arturo Escobar) and from thinking about the framework of living beings as infrastructure (Ailton Krenak). What does it imply to think about the listening-sonority relationship from the end of modern humanism that sought to enclose sounds in an exclusive concept of music, and through the idea of sound design in the midst of a future that is more present than beyond?
This essay locates sound as a technology that is intensely mobilized between the cosmopolitics of life and death, either with the sound rituals that some peoples use to communicate with each other and to update the relationship with their dead and their other others, or, in a contrasting way, with the development of music as public art whose multiplicity is amplified in the intimate accounts of the dawn of the 21st century while it is mobilized in the post-industrial design of sound weapons. In the essay I explore the potential and plasticity of sound as a form that needs to be activated by an entity that causes its actualization and that, once updated as sound, its plasticity is enhanced to compose and decompose, causing the very transmutation of the sense of death and life. I prepare this paper through archival and ethnographic research that probes some of the practices that are part of the long planetary sound death of extractivist and warrior civilizing humanism and also explores the framework of the ever-emerging redesign of sounds as a politics of life interwoven between different beings. Sound emerges as an entity capable of being constantly updated either to destroy or to constitute, night after long night, the textures in which multiple entities are involved and affect each other, including the matter of the planet itself.

Luis E. Cárcamo-Huechante is a Mapuche scholar. He is currently the Director of the Program in Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) and an Associate Professor of Spanish at The University of Texas at Austin. Between 2019 and this year, he served as a member of the Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association (NAISA). Professor Cárcamo-Huechante is a founding member of the Comunidad de Historia Mapuche, which is a collective of Mapuche researchers/activists based in southern Chile. In 2007, he published his first book, Tramas del mercado: imaginación económica, cultura pública y literatura en el Chile de fines del siglo veinte (Santiago: Editorial Cuarto Propio). Now, Professor Cárcamo-Huechante is close to complete his second book, tentatively titled Mapuche Interferences: Acoustic Colonialism and Indigenous Response, which analyzes literary texts, radio shows and music to discuss questions of indigeneity, language and sound in relation to what he calls "acoustic colonialism."


(De)Colonizing Acts:  From Impersonated “Indio” to Mapuche Voices in the Mediascape

In Chile and Latin America, during the first half of the twentieth century writing–based media (literature; newspapers) started cohabiting with another sonically powerful technology of communications, namely, radio. In this presentation, I will discuss, on the one hand, how the Indigenous subject is “voiced” by settler colonial radio in Chile. I specifically discuss the radiophonic and musical impersonation of a “Mapuche” character, the Indio Pije (Indian Snob) by Chilean criollo actor and comedian Ernesto Ruiz. I argue that the supplanting of Indigenous voice and body by Ruiz’s radiophonic and musical impersonation of the Mapuche is a continuation of the Chilean colonial politics of mediation and disfigurement. On the other hand, I will close my presentation by offering a sample of the ways in which the Mapuche positioned their own voices on the airwaves in the late twentieth century, as a countercurrent to radiophonic practices of disfigurement of the Mapuche and as ways to interfere with the waves of what I call “acoustic colonialism.”



Marco Scarassatti is a sound artist, improviser and composer. Professor of composition at the UFMG School of Music, he is the author of the book Walter Smetak, the alchemist of sounds (Editora Perspectiva / SESC, 2008) and develops research and construction of sculptures and sound installations, in addition to field recordings. He currently coordinates the Intercultural Training of Indigenous Educators course, FIEI FaE UFMG.
In 2013 he released the album Rios Enclosurados, based on his research with the sounds of channeled rivers in Belo Horizonte. And in 2021 he was a guest artist, and commissioned by the Festival CULTUREESCAPES 2021 Amazonia, to create the installation MataBio, during the months of August to October. The installation was exhibited at the Theater Chur and at the Tinguely Museum in Basel.
In his last work, Ni yuxibū xinã rewe (2023) he dialogues with the master of songs of the Huni Kuin people, Ibã Sales, creating a spatial involvement for the songs of the spirit of the forest.

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