Ximena Alarcón



This paper analyses the experience of the networked off-line improvisation ‘Listening and Remembering’, a performance for four commuters using voices and sounds from the Mexico City and Paris metros. It addresses the question: how can an act of collective remembering, inspired by listening to metro soundscapes, lead to the creation of networked voice-and sound-based narratives about the urban commuting experience? The networked experience is seen here from the structural perspective (telematic setting), the sonic underground context, the ethnographic process that led to the performance, the narratives that are created in the electro-acoustic setting, the shared acoustic environments that those creations suggest, and the technical features and participants’ responses that pre- vent or facilitate interaction. Emphasis is placed on the participants’ status as non-performers, and on their familiarity with the sonic environment, as a context that allows the participation of non-musicians in the making of music through telematically shared interfaces, using soundscape and real-time voice. Participants re-enact their routine experience through a dialogical relationship with the sounds, the other participants, themselves, and the experience of sharing: a collective memory.


Networked performance; Listening; Soundscape; Voice; Underground Transportation; Non-performers; Collective Memory; Ethnography

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Ximena Alarcón, “Sounding Underground: lis- tening, performing and transforming the commut- ing experience” in Sensate Journal, A Journal for Experiments in Critical Media Practice Spring (2011) [on-line publication]

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7559/citarj.v3i1.27


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Journal of Science and Technology of the Arts
Revista de Ciência e Tecnologia das Artes
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