084.Ximena Alarcón

Ximena Alarcón

is a UK based Colombian artist who focuses on listening to social context related sound, connecting it to individual and collective memories.

detailed biography

netart by Ximena Alarcon (Colombia)

Sounding Underground
year of production: 2009
used technology (software etc): Flash CS4 Actionscript 3.0
required plug-ins: Flash Player 9 or 10

Enter the work here

Sounding Underground is a virtual environment that invites users to interact with the soundscapes of three underground public transport systems: London, Paris and México City. Commuters’ memories and imaginations are represented in sounds and images that have been selected by volunteer commuters through an ethnographic process. These sounds are assembled in a sound score that acts as a multimedia user’s interface. The score contains sonic features unique to each metro, as well as some shared sonic spaces. This environment allows commuters, through interactive options, to experience a process of listening and remembering, provoking the expression of an aural urban collective memory, through the narrative of an underground journey.

Sounding Underground also invites you to write memories in text, produced by listening. These memories are being published randomly in the “Listening and Remembering” page.
Sounding Underground is the result of a practice-led research project studied commuter’s perceptions towards their daily life soundscape in underground public transport systems, taking the case studies of Paris and México City as counterparts of the London Underground. Sixteen commuters in Mexico, and sixteen in Paris, contributed to the creation of the environment, and their experiences were linked to the original project in London, in which twenty-four volunteers participated.

Linking urban soundscapes through commuters’ memories invites us to acknowledge symbolic, social, economic and political issues of mobility in contemporary cities, from their perspective. This approach strives to make commuters contributors in the creation of these environments, and furthermore performers (as non-musicians) and narrators of their commuting experience.

netart by Ximena Alarcon (Colombia)

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