Sonic Allegories // A collaborative project by Lena Ortega and Robertina Šebjanič
This series of sound projects seeks to explore the sonic atmosphere of spaces that are barely perceptible – transitional space. Environments in transition, places from which to rethink margins, limits, borders. Artists Lena Ortega and Robertina Šebjanič started to work with specific locations. Their first sound art project AviaAquatoCene presents the sonic space of Cantera Oriente Reserve in Mexico City. Their second project TerraAstroCene, is a sonic walk in Evora at The Crómlech de los Almendros.
SonicAllegories explores the imprint of bird songs, shrimps in the water, the astral memory of the old stars that resonate between the megalithic stones; spaces that nature took over / back from human interventions. Perceived this way, environments in transition or third landscapes – if we refer to Gilles Clément, are platforms that help us rethink the sonic margins of the Anthropocene and Capitalocene. Within these margins, we can explore the inflection points in the emergence of otherness.
Cantera Oriente Reserve of Mexico City
This third landscape is today both an area called the A3 buffer zone of the Pedregal de San Angel ecological reserve, an ecological research laboratory from UNAM university and a training site for the Pumas soccer team. Originally, the site was a quarry and asphalt plant which, after being exploited for 25 years, turned out to conceal a natural spring. When this was discovered in 1996, the plant was closed down and returned to the University. It left a crevasse 16 hectares wide by 42 meters deep. Soil was then raised one meter from the asphalt so that trees could grow. It is now an open laboratory for scientific research run by the Faculty of Science UNAM. In the Cantera Oriente there are four lakes, as well as the natural spring. AviaAquatoCene is a sound piece composed with field recordings of the Cantera Oriente. They each tell a story of the place. Sounds of air and water, stories of above and below.
Crómlech de los Almendros, Evora, Portugal
The soundscapes of the Crómlech de los Almendros, the largest megalithic monument of the Iberian Peninsula, were recorded by the team of Cultivamos Cultura and composed into a sound walk by Lena and Robertina from a distance (Mexico City – Ljubljana – Evora). The composition deals with the millennial presence of the monument. The fact that it dates back to the Neolithic and that it has managed to withstand for centuries in this ever changing world, makes its sonic presence intriguing. This monument was the celebration of the interstitial space between planet earth and the stars. The sound walk is presented in the gallery and at the location of the Crómlech de los Almendros, as a composition that opens the liminal space of these inbetweeners.