• Ximena Alarcón Independent Artist and Research Fellow at the Creative Research in Sound Arts Practice – CRiSAP, University of the Arts London
Keywords: Networked performance, Listening, Soundscape, Voice, Underground Transportation, Non-performers, Collective Memory, Ethnography


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.

Author Biography

Ximena Alarcón, Independent Artist and Research Fellow at the Creative Research in Sound Arts Practice – CRiSAP, University of the Arts London
Ximena Alarcón, born in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1972, completed her PhD in Music, Technology and Innovation at De Montfort University in 2007. She was awarded an Early Career Fellowship 2007-2009 by The Leverhulme Trust to develop her project ‘Sounding Underground’ at De Montfort’s Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT). There, in 2010, she worked as a Programme Leader for the Masters in Creative Technologies. Since October 2011, she works in Creative Research in Sound Arts Practice - CRiSAP, at the University of the Arts London, as a Research Fellow, developing her project “Networked Migrations – listening to and performing the in-between space”. Deep Listening practice and telematic musical performance are her current interests that expand both the connections to other territories and the social and aesthetic possibilities of working with the migratory experience. She is interested in what is constructed in our memories through listening while traveling underground and in other migratory contexts, and in our options for building collective memories using new media technologies, in the search for identity and place.


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