Sono(dys)topias: What do abjection, subversions and social transgressions sound like?

This roundtable aims to discuss the role of sound within processes of subversion, transgression, and social marginalization at multiple levels. In other words, it seeks to problematize the relationship between abject, subversive, and transgressive sounds, in addition to the social spaces in which they are produced and heard, and where they resonate. From the cry of the excluded to the silencing of those who leave the margins of legitimate speech, sono(dys)topia names a number of different problems. Using noise as a key concept to understand sonorities that are stigmatized as “irrelevant,” this roundtable seeks to turn colonial taxonomies of sound “inside out”—in reverse—to hear what “bad sounds” have to say about the strident complexities of our world.

Biographies

Alexandra T. Vazquez is Associate Professor in the Department of Performance Studies at NYU. Her research and teaching interests focus on music, U.S. Latina/o and Latin American Studies, Caribbean aesthetics and criticism, race and ethnicity, and feminist theory. Her book, Listening in Detail: Performances of Cuban Music (Duke University Press 2013), won the American Studies Association’s Lora Romero Book Prize in 2014.

Fabiano Kueva is an artist and curator whose work has been exhibited in museums, public spaces, and community settings. He has produced albums and published various books and articles. He is the recipient of the Radiodrama Prize from the III Bienal Latinoamericana de Radio (Latin American Radio Biennale), the Paris Prize from the VIII International Cuenca Biennial, and the Nuevo Mariano Aguilera Prize (Ecuador, 2015). He has participated in the Havana Biennial (Cuba, 2009),the Montevido Biennial (Uruguay, 2014), the Venice Biennial (Italy, 2015), and was the recipient of the Prince Claus Fund Grant in 2010. Kueva lives and works in Ecuador.

Susana Gonzalez Aktories holds a PhD in Hispanic Philology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She is Professor and researcher at the School of Philosophy and Letters of the UNAM. In her work as a performer, she has studied music at the SACM and has been part of the Universität Hamburg choir. Together with the Laboratorio de literaturas extendidas y otras materialidades (Laboratory on Extended Literature and Other Materialities) (LLEOM), she has created activations and performance interventions in the MUAC (2014) and the Museo Universitario del Chopo (2015). She is the founder of the experimental vocal ensemble Bocabilidades (2018).

Susan Campos Fonseca is a Costa Rican musicologist and composer who specializes in the Philosophy of technology and cultural and decolonial feminist approaches to electronic art and sound creation. She is signed to the NY music label Irreverence Group Music and is a professor at the School of Musical Arts at the Universidad de Costa Rica. Campos Fonseca is also the coordinator of the Archivo Histórico Musical (Historical Archive of Music) and a researcher with the Instituto de Investigaciones en Artes (Institute for Art Research).

Jorge David García (Moderator) is a Mexican musicologist and composer, and a full-time professor at the Faculty of Music of the UNAM. His research topics include the epistemological dimension of listening, the relationship between music and politics, and the relationship between art, new technologies, and the social movements that derive from free software and the Internet. He is also an active composer, and as such, has collaborated as part of various theater, dance, and film projects. He is part of several different research groups and sound improvisation groups, among which include the Network of Studies on Sound and Listening, and the music collective Armstrong Liberado.