From the Act to Listening

“Belonging to the same group, in effect, does not mean more than listening together”
Peter Sloterdijk


The objective of this project is the creation of sonic actions in the public space, of a contextual and participatory nature, with the objective of inviting people to listen to the environment, the people and themselves. This through momentarily interrupt the everyday to listen to us and so try to generate a reflection and dialogue with the places and people; to try to recover the perception of our sound environment, through awareness, think and question our sound experiences, from various criteria, objective and subjective, personal, social, economic, political…

The cities are a reflection of neoliberal economics and finance, which seek to subordinate society, the environment and a politics under a unique model, their model. Spaces have been created where there is no room for reflection and coexistence. The privacy, freedom of expression, access to information, and participation in the economy and politics are restricted. The people, the social groups, the cultural differences, the economic inequality and the inequality of rights, matter less and less. In neoliberalism the only relationship that is seeks is the competition with the other people.

I think it is necessary to rethink our social fabric, our relationships with other people, whether we know it or not; I think it is necessary to rethink our responsibility as citizens of the same city, to rethink public spaces as spaces of relationship and contact with other people, as spaces for encounter, dialogue, participation and construction.
I think it is necessary to configure spaces of learning, where we learn to perceive our context and our relations, where we learn to listen, say, do and think of another way, where we relearn to see the world. What we learn is what really transform us. I think it is necessary to analyze our society from other perspectives, in this case I would like to work from the auditory and participatory level, and thus generate from artistic strategies other perceptions of the city and experience in a more conscious way our belonging and incidence in it, try to generate an awareness that we are part of a wider and more complex totality. I would like the people take the actions as a tool to connect with society and think about this from another angle.
It interests me that from the experience of participating in the actions, we reflect on our soundscape and our society. I am interested in reflect on our way of talk to us and listen to us, of relate us. I am interested in catalyzing another way of perceiving and living the public space through the auditory transformation of it, which can lead to a better understanding of the world and a better way of living it.
I am interested in working with sound for the properties it contains as a means of information and communication. Sounds have meanings that inform us about where we are, the our of the day, the season of the year… they have different meanings and messages that influence on everyday behavior, produce different reactions, feelings and sensations. For this reason, I want to recover the sound in everyday life, and the importance of listening to generate other forms of relate and understand our context.

Action no. 1
It is an action for public spaces in which through a series of questions, people are invited to listen to different parameters of the soundscape.
The questions are projected through an audio recording, and this through four headphones that are placed on a mobile and removable structure. Between each question was left a space of 20 seconds.


Action no. 2
It is an action in which a microphone and a sound speaker were placed in different spaces and people are invited to use it to say what they want, read, express an opinion, recite a poem, sing, make noise… what comes to mind.


Action no. 3 *
Is a participatory action, which consisted of placing a hand recorder and a headphone and inviting people to listen the soundscape in an amplified was through these.


Action no. 4 *
Field recordings were made of places where events occurred periodicaly or cyclically, but not every day, and all people are invited to download the recordings and if possible listen to them in the same places where they were performed a day that not happen the event corresponding to each place.
The field recordings were made in the Historical Center of Queretaro, Mexico, in the following places:
– The street market of the Alameda. It takes place from Thursday to Tuesday, rests on Wednesday.
– The street market of the walkers Libertad and Josefa Vergara. It take place from Thursday to Monday, rests on Tuesday and Wednesday.
– The Sunday of danzón in the Zenea Garden. It is done on Sundays, rests the other days of the week.
– The street market of the De la Cruz Market. It take place on Sundays, rests the other days of the week.
– The celebration of the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the surroundings of the Church of the Congregación. It is done on December 12, rest the other days of the year.


Action no. 5 *
A tour was designed and various friends were invited to walk the same individually while they mentioned, described, or give their impressions about the sounds that were listening to when they did the tour, at the same time was recorded the voices of the friends who made the tour. Jhoani Godinez, Mahelet López, Karen Rueda and Luz Vanegas collaborated in this action.
The tour took place on Madero street, from the corner of Ezequiel Montes street to the Zenea Garden, in the Historical Center of Queretaro, Mexico.


* Project beneficiary of the Support Program for Artistic Production “Apoyarte” 2015 of the Queretano Institute of Culture and Arts.

Logo color


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– Andueza Olmedo, María. Creación, sonido y ciudad: Un contexto para la instalación sonora en el espacio público. Memoria para optar al grado de doctor, bajo la dirección de la doctora Mercedes Replinger González, Departamento de Historia III, Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Spain, 2010.
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– Arroyo, Francesc. “Aviso de derrumbe”. In: El País. Spain, 22/03/2014. Obtained in the link: (Consulted the 09/09/2014).
– Baudino, Luján. Una aproximación al concepto de arte público. Boletín Gestión Cultural Nº 16: Arte público, April 2008.
– Carles, José Luis. El paisaje sonoro, una herramienta interdisciplinar: análisis, creación y pedagogía con el sonido. Encuentro Iberoamericano sobre Paisajes Sonoros. 12-15 Junio 2007, Madrid, Spain. Obtained in the link: (Consulted the 09/09/2014).
– Fernández Quesada, Blanca. Nuevos lugares de intención – Intervenciones artísticas en el espacio urbano como una de las salidas a los circuitos convencionales: Estados Unidos 1965-1995. Facultad de Bellas Artes, Departamento de Pintura, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, 1999. Obtained in the link: (Consulted the 09/09/2014).
– García Canclini, Néstor. “Arte público / Arte político II”. Arte en construcción. Mexico, 2008. Obtained in the link: (Consulted the 09/09/2014).
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– Garcés, Marina. “La distancia entre el poder y la dignidad”. In: El País. Spain, 28/04/2014. Obtained in the link: (Consulted the 09/09/2014).
– Garcés, Marina. “Un mundo entre nosotros”. In: Espai en Blanc. Spain, 15/10/2010. Obtained in the link: (Consulted the 09/09/2014).
– G. Rubio, Irene. “No nos salvaremos solos: Entrevista a la filósofa Marina Gracés”. In: Periódico Diagonal. Spain, 19/03/14. Obtained in the link: (Consulted the 09/09/2014).
– Hernández Gálvez, Alejandro. “Otra vez: el espacio público”. In: Arquine. Mexico, 31/05/2014. Obtained in the link: (Consulted the 09/09/2014).
– Pérez Rubio, Ana María. “Arte y política. Nuevas experiencias estéticas y producción de subjetividades”. In: Comunicación y Sociedad. Departamento de Estudios de la Comunicación Social, Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico, 2011. Obtained in the link:
(Consulted the 09/09/2014).

Photographs by: Fausto Gracia and Balam Ronan



Creative Commons License
From the Act to Listening by Balam Ronan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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