José Luis Espejo – Spain (January – Februaryi 2012)
José Luis Espejo studied Art History and Visual Culture and is currently engaged in independent research on audiovisual art and sonic culture. He has recently been interested in the history and meanings of unwanted sounds, connecting them to the multiple economic and spiritual connotations of noise. He has mostly published his work online, in his personal blog “The Ratzinger Times”, as co-editor of ./Mediateltipos))), and collaborating with the RRS Museo Reina Sofía Radio. He is also co-editor, together with Oscar Martín, of Ursonate Fanzine, a recently-launched magazine on Sound Art and Aural Cultures.
The research in the Sound Archive of Experimental Music and Sound Art SONM explores new contemporary meanings of noise in soundworks where these meanings are not only form but also theme of their discourse. To this aim, the research will focus on spiritual and religious aspects, in an attempt at investigating political and ideological patterns on sound practices. Searching for the multiplicity of meanings of noise in Western culture, the relationships between economics and religion have always been a recurrent ground of exploration. Beyond the possible relationships between sacrifice and music, however, noise clearly shares some ontology with the diabolic, the mundane and, therefore, the human. Most serious social problems have mythical connections with that mundane foundation, while pure sounds, whose ultimate abstraction is silence, relate to the divine imagination. A useful way to find these political overtones in sounds is bringing them to the urban realm, since sound and architecture very often share a common ground in their interaction with the social.