18 The Noise of the Borders


What does a border sound like? How do we listen to migration, displacement, and the periphery? How do our bodies absorb the absences, the pain, and also the exchanges, the translation processes, and the experiences that border encounters imply? How can we listen— through our own sonorities—to the stories of displacement and transformation that constitute us as migrant bodies?

Based on these questions, in this group we will explore different ways to listen to the noises of our body: we will shout, improvise and perform different listening exercises, in order to discuss the social situations that occur in border contexts.

It is important to say that when we speak of borders we do not necessarily speak of geographical limits, but also familial, ideological, political, or any other divisions that are incorporated into our being and sow cracks in our own sense of identity, at the same time as they generate new identities and allow us to recognize ourselves as complex beings.

The main premise of this work group is that there is a continuum between our own sonority and the sounds of a fragmented society; thus, by listening to our internal noises, we can unravel the multiple vibrations of our environment.

Format and Structure:

This working group will combine theoretical discussions on noise, resonance and border culture with different types of listening dynamics and sound improvisation.

More specifically, we will rely on diverse methodologies such as the listening protocols of the Ultrared collective, the deep listening exercises of Pauline Oliveros, and some listening exercises by Murray Schafer, among others, to enter into a collective experience centered on listening to the noise of our body and its relationship to social borders.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

Spanish and English.


Rossana Lara studied piano and musicology at UNAM’s Faculty of Music in México. Her doctoral research explores the formation of the experimental music and electronic art fields in Mexico, along with the discourses around sound and technology in these practices, based on anthropology and media history. Her research interests also include the study of 20th century concert music. Part of her work has been presented at forums such as the International Conference on Systems Research, Informatics, and Cybernetics in Baden-Baden, the International Congress on Musical Signification in Lithuania, the Noise in and as Music Symposium at the University of Huddersfield, the Mapping Sound and Urban Space in the Americas Symposium at Cornell University, and the International Music and Code Symposium /*Vivo*/, among others.

Jorge David García 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 in various theater, dance, and film projects. He is part of different groups of research and sound improvisation, among which stand out the Network of Studies on Sound and Listening, and the music collective Armstrong Liberado.


  • Bianca Scliar
  • Coman Poon
  • Jake Nussbaum
  • José luis Romero
  • Juan Aldape Munoz
  • Luis Arturo García
  • Martin de la Cruz Lopez-Moya
  • Marusia Pola Mayorga
  • Mauricio Barria
  • Mitchell Oliver
  • Paloma Martinez-Cruz
  • Simone Luci Pereira
  • Valeria Navarro Magallón
  • Victoria Polti