I am still Listening

Solo exhibiton at MUME Viena, Austria.

For its 6th edition of MUME has invited the curator Bárbara Perea, who in collaboration with the artist present “I’m still listening”. The temporary intervention includes three listening sessions and projections by Rivas, which are part of an exercise of nightly field video and audio recordings the artist has made from his studio window in Mexico City during the months of confinement to serve as an audiovisual journal.

Additionally, a pressed flexidisc commissioned for the project by MUME will be distributed during the presentations and by postal service to fifty postal addresses in Austria.

Presentation dates:

  • May 27, 2021 | 7:00 pm
    Lassallestraße 20, 1020 Vienna
  • May 28, 2021 | 7:00 pm
    Aussichtsturm Paulinenwarte im Türkenschanzpark, Feistmantelstraße 2, 1180 Vienna
  • May 29, 2021 | 7:00 pm
    Schleifmühlgasse 12-14, 1040 Vienna

Limited number of participants – binding registration absolutely necessary!
Registration until May 26, 6 p.m. at: cuetovsme@yahoo.com.mx

I am Still listening / Bárbara Perea L.

Postcards, most often, are remindersattesting to someone’s travels. At a time when borders worldwide are closed, bodies are confined and travelling is severely restricted, Self-isolation Soundscapes works as a substitution of bodies—the postcard travels while the body remains still. This work combines strategies of mail art and field recordings by using a pressed flexidisc containing the soundscape recorded from the artist’s studio window in downtown Mexico City.

Flexidiscs, popular in the Eastern Bloc in the 1960s, allowed the juxtaposition of sound and image to create unique mementos of a particular time and place. This flexidisc documents part of an exercise of nightly field recordings the artist has made during the months of confinement. They are accompanied by mobile phone video recordings shared on Instagram to serve as an audiovisual journal. Much like the I got up postcard series initiated by On Kawara in Mexico City in 1968, Self-isolation Soundscapes functions as a proof of existence, both of the artist and the intended recipient.

By playing this dislocated soundscape in Vienna, the fusion of both soundscapes will result in a unique listening experience wherever it is played. The use of analog, low-fi resources imbues the recording with a certain layer of nostalgia; it also stands in contrast to our current shared reality, heavily mediated by screens.

As a document, it is intended to register this intersticial moment of both extraordinary anxiety and hope for a future as yet uncertain. It also pinpoints this particular twilight moment when air travel will again change irrevocably. The securitization and surveillance of airports introduced in the wake of 9/11 will soon be enhanced with new biomedical protocols currently being implemented by international travel authorities. It appears that entering one cloud—airspace—will soon require surrendering even more of our biometric imprint to that other cloud, which increasingly overshadows and determines our embodied experience. The seamless incorporation of biometric data mining with newly imposed travel restrictions thus neatly dovetails with the pandemic, signaling the surreptitious advancement of surveillance capitalist agendas.

Bárbara Perea L.