Engaging with Nature Using Sound, Anthropology and Art
Engaging with Nature Using Sound, Anthropology and Art

Latin American Anthropology Seminar

Speaker: Alejandro Valencia-Tobon, Cucusonic Collective & Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology, UK

In this talk I address a series of socially engaged projects I have produced at the intersections of public art and biological science, reflecting three themes: Participation, Translation and Transformation.  

Regarding Participation, I present an approach that promotes equality and mutual trust while exploring with ex-combatants and scientists their different forms of bio-knowledge in the Colombian rainforest (https://doi.org/10.1162/leon_a_02060); and art-making with urban city dwellers to apprehend their everyday understanding of mosquito-borne diseases (https://bit.ly/3gjOsGM). 

Concerning Translation, I describe the productive convergence across different forms of information (visual, textual, sonic) and various artistic and scientific fields of practice, by converting biological data into forest compositions (https://erratico.info/Espectro). 

The theme of Transformation is reflected in the multidisciplinary network Cucusonic (www.cucusonic.net), where I coordinate a collective of biological scientists, anthropologists and musicians that record and use bats’, birds’ and frogs’ sound signals to monitor biodiversity and to make music. Working along the UK charity In Place of War, The Vinyl Factory and the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology at the University of Manchester, we produced a music album featuring artists like Brian Eno, to raise awareness of the Colombian biodiversity to national and international audiences.

Event date: 2 March 2023

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