The Laboratorio de Arte Alameda presents Cinco variaciones de circunstancias fónicas y una pausa (Five Variations on Phonic Circumstances and a Pause), an exhibition by Mexican artist Tania Candiani curated by Karla Jasso. As its title conveys, the show is mounted around five original commissions, created especially for the exhibition, as well as what we are calling a “pause,” an inflection that penetrates each and every one of the phonic circumstances that take place as part of the show.
For over ten years, Tania Candiani’s work has explored different paths and social phenomena that link aesthetics and language. In the present show for the Laboratorio de Arte Alameda, the proposal is oriented toward processes and artifacts generated by what we are calling phonic circumstances; each of them contains and expands a type of imaginary associated with machines, instruments and specific technologies whose sonorous/phonetic quality is exposed to one of the eponymous variations. They represent new “ways of listening” that call on the affect of what can be heard, but also on a destabilization of the notion of “utility” that is homogeneously assigned to machines, instruments and other featured techniques: organ, player piano, sound engineering, the work of scribes, embroiderers and campaniles. Every device refers to a specific technology associated with a particular phonic circumstance (sound, music, orality, sign-based).
The machines of Five Variations on Phonic Circumstances and a Pause
are constituted as mechanisms whose particular use is processing sounds or, more precisely, phonic circumstances.
The machines’ goal is to translate and interpret sound events —noises, orality, readings, narrations, murmurs, secrets, music— by changing them from one phonic register to another, transmuting them into text and code.
These devices, lie somewhere between science fiction, Victorian steam technology and the latest artificial intelligence and word processing technologies.
The five variations refer constantly to a number of communications model and format transformations that create tension in the relationship between scientific knowledge and the human factor and additionally emphasize the dislocation experience present in contemporary media´s expansive range.
What part of a letter bears its sound? In what part of a musical note does the music reside? Is music a language? Can you speak of a code when speaking of poetry?