Works / Projects

In memoriam
Audio stereo
2012
28 minutes 56 seconds

"What we find in so many cases of melancholia is the need to create a new language to talk about the loss".
Darian Leader, The New Black: Mourning, Melancholia and Depression, Hamish Hamilton, 2008.

In 2011, I visited Jardines del Humaya, an extravagant cemetery in Culiacán, Mexico, in which the dead are buried inside ostentatious buildings. Beyond the fascinating architecture and the silence, at times interrupted by the workers who dug or built tombs, I focused on elegies, epitaphs and other messages that allow the living to communicate with the dead, and vice versa, since some of the phrases were formulated as if the dead were speaking.

Some of these messages, printed in eccentric signs not seen in any other cemetery, were discreetly recorded by using my voice, avoiding photographing the signs so as to avoid any problems with the mobsters that constantly visit it. Afterwards, in an effort to share the information in another language and also to lose my voice’s emotional content, I transcribed the message in order to translate it digitally, allowing the computer to speak to the dead, or vice versa, leaving the translation’s errors as well as the signs’ grammar mistakes. This synthesized voice blended with the cemetery’s soundscape, offering us the experience of walking through a mausoleum and finding the signs, transmitted via sound. The first part of this project was presented in the exhibit Fragmented, at London’s The Tin Tabernacle, in June 2012.

After the exhibit in London, I invited some experimental musicians whose work I respect and has inspired me to send me some sounds or music in order to create a new sound work, fusing the first part of the project with their contributions. This piece is available at www.suplex.mx to allow people to listen to it with their portable audio players, recreating the experience of walking through the Jardines del Humaya and using the Internet and mp3 as platforms for the transmission. In Memorian can in fact be a site-specific work with the collaboration of the listener if it is played at a park or even at a cemetery. Posters and postcards for exhibits and symposia on violence have been made as an extension of the work.

Guest artists: Álvaro Ruiz, BJ Nilsen, Francisco López, Huixtralizer, Iris Garrelfs, Janek Schaefer, Lumen lab, Manrico Montero, Murcof, Nicolas Wiese, Phillippe Petit, Rogelio Sosa and Simon Whetham.

Download free from suplex.mx