‘There is a presence in what is missing’ H.J.
How to listen during politically violent realities? Dis/appear is a soundwork that attempts to open a space of possibility and critical affect to approach uncertainty and loss. It uses sound’s ambiguous nature to invite imagination and personal interpretations that can give a shape-changing identity to an assemblage of sounds that gather progressively and that occupy the space, echoing accordingly through the walls of the different spaces and listeners with whom it resonates. After the sound is reproduced a question is made to the audience ‘what did you hear? what did you see? what did you feel?’ The work gathers the recordings of the answers as all the possible lives of the sound: sometimes it is heard as a mountain falling, as the formation of a waterfall, as hundreds of police horses, as a wall being torn down, as rocks encountering each other.
Afterwards, the sound’s identity is revealed.
An assemblage of stepping sounds walking over different grounds and marking different rhythms give presence in the space to 108 people. The physical volume of sound gives a ‘temporal body’ to each of them, who in 2 minutes progressively gather to walk together. 108 is the average number of people that go missing every 2 weeks in Mexico, a number based on a statistical study that analyzed a decade of cases of unresolved disappearances -not murders or deaths- and regardless it was published in 2015, the realization year of this sound, it remains current.