Lucía Simón Medina Work About Texts

Of Breath and Sound

Narrative Strategies for a Contaminating Composition

2022, Four-channel sound installation & written composition

Of Breath and Sound is a four-channel sound installation based on a group composition written and performed by Angélica CastellóNatalia Dominguez RangelLorena Moreno Vera, and Lucía Simón Medina. The piece explores contamination*1  as a collaborative practice (Lowenhaupt Tsing, A., 2015), using breath(ing) materiality as an acoustic and narrative phenomenon.

Of Breath and Sound thus delves into breath(ing)’s manifold physical, abstract and aural layers, emphasizing its commonality (or atmosphere*2) as the primary act of existence that is entirely dependent on and built by the life of others.

How does a gathering become a “happening,” that is, greater than a sum of its parts? One answer is contamination. We are contaminated by our encounters; they change who we are as we make way for others. As contamination changes world-making projects, mutual worlds— and new directions—may emerge. Everyone carries a history of contamination.

Lowenhaupt Tsing, A. (2015). Contamination as Collaboration. In The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (p. 27). Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press.

Emanuele Coccia centers special attention on the idea of atmosphere as something built by an intertwined existential mixture in the world: The air we breathe is not a purely geological or mineral reality but rather the breath of other living things. It is a by-product of the “life of others.”

In breath [pneuma]—the first and most banal and unconscious act of life for an immense number of organisms —we depend on the life of others. We call atmosphere that radical mixture that makes everything coexist in the same place without sacrificing forms or substances. Coccia, E. (2017). En pleno aire: Ontología de la atmósfera. In La vida de las plantas: Una metafísica de las mixtura (pp. 54–55). Bueno Aires, Argentina: Miño y Dávila.