Untitled, Polyphonic Social, Liquid Architecture (AUS)

Untitled, Performed at Polyphonic Social, Liquid Architecture. Melbourne, Australia.
April 2018


According to ancient Mayan codices, caves represent the maws of the earth. Entering those cavities was thought to be no different than entering the interiors of an animated being, a sentient space which was known to actively alter the normal state of the visitors. Though specific details about the types of situations that occurred in the caves do not exist, and based on archeological data are highly speculative, from a physical point of view we can deduce that the events were isolated from the sounds of the exterior and they provided a protected private space from outdoor public activities. . [1]

The darkness and the irregularities of many of these hollow rocks reduced the clear intelligibility of both images and sounds as neat symbols. In dark, echoic caves, voices are stretched, bounced, and blended with the geometry of the rocks. Sounds and images are both dramatized and morphed from their original forms into ambiguous presences. As a result, caves produce a unique atmosphere where the literal appearance of voice and image are transformed into a different type of manifestation. In these places words and visual appearances are transformed into something other, beyond their straightforward functionality, these phenomena may take on new qualities. Qualities that they do not have in “normal” circumstances.

Modern sacred constructions such as Mayan pyramids, Incan galleries, Christian catacombs and even, nowadays catholic temples, keep sharing the same echoic characteristics as ancient caves, the same rarified atmospheres that still resists the logical understanding of uttered words.

I wonder if there is anything sacred about these deformed echoes, I wonder, if these quiet walls might contain a secret type of language within them, a language that is encrypted and prepared for a type of mystical communication beyond reason.

Me and Camila Marambio have created a type of diffractive conversation between ourselves, using the reverberant conditions of the chapel of the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourn Australia. We have located ourselves far from each other, leaning in distant walls of the chapel, we spoke to each other even though we were not able to understand.

This type of mutual misunderstanding forced us to find a different type of communication, far from our logical use of language, A type of spatial encounter that resisted our own intentions and agendas and that pushed us to interact according to the space rules alone.

[1] See Schele, Linda. In the Maw of the Earth Monster, (Texas: University of Texas Press, 2005)

pictures by Keelan O_Hehir


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