Infrasonica is a digital platform of non-Western cultures. We record, analyze and debate the eeriness of sound and its auras, linked to the world with the audible, the hidden and the sensitive. Infrasonic waves operate at a frequency that is undetectable by human ears even though they are often generated by massive ecological phenomena, such as the movement of tectonic plates or the deep currents of the ocean. Infrasonica aims to be a catalyst for those vibrations.
The platform includes archives of experimental sound and visual artists, as well as theoretical musings on contemporary critical thought. By relying on a borderless network of collaborators, Infrasonica blends essays, conversations and speculative works that encourage critical curatorial and research projects.

  • Voicing Abstraction / Wave #9
  • October 2023
  • 7

Voicing Abstraction / Wave #9:

The publication of our 9th Wave also marks the end of Voicing Abstraction, our third Current. Voicing Abstraction aimed to confront and explore the potentialities inherent in the poetics of spoken language: is it possible to name a shapeless thing? How can we address something beyond communication? Can we breathe life into that which has no concreteness? In doing so, do we risk birthing a monster, a golem; that Talmudic being formed of clay who, due to its voicelessness, has nefarious intentions assigned to it?

In many versions of tales of the golem, the creature received its ruach, its pneuma, its vitality, with the carving of the word emét, or truth, into its forehead. The way to kill it, then, was to remove the first letter, leaving the inscription as mét, changing the meaning from truth to death. But is that carving, even of the word death, not a way of safeguarding memory? Wouldn’t it be true then that the chiseling sound, the sound of erasure, is an act of utterance, the emitting of a sound resistant to that which is trying to silence it? Even if that being already lived a silent existence?

Every act of translation is either an act of creation or of suppression, and as the golem seems to remind us, even a silent existence makes utterances in the liminal space between truth and death. With Voicing Abstraction, we aimed to explore other possible meanings beyond literal representations of the self, which tend to be absorbed with more efficiency by the politics of representation. Voicing Abstraction invited artists working with their voice, music, and poetry in ways that complicate liberal semiotics of cultural identity and that introduce us to worlds that are loaded with polyvalent meaning, fugitive languages, and desire.

  • Voicing Abstraction / Wave #8
  • March 2023
  • 6

Voicing Abstraction / Wave #8:

In this second installment of Voicing Abstraction, we delve into the sonic waves that entwine human skin, communal emancipatory utterances, and the intricacies of abstract sounds and shades of silence. Together with our brilliant contributors, we seek to further our understanding of the limits between voice, song, language, and abstraction, while examining how voice as representation has been distorted in liberal democracies to flatten cultural differences and polyphonies.

  • Voicing Abstraction / Wave #7
  • July 2022
  • 6

Voicing Abstraction / Wave #7:

Pneuma is conceived as the original creative act by Classical Greek philosophy; the vitality of breathing transformed into expression. Breathing as sound at the service of linguistic public interaction. Voicing as a form of being in the world, that when merged into the collectiveness of society, resonates as a powerful political tool.

Liberal politics are, to an extent, organized through the regime of identity and citizenship in which voicing acts as representation; as the foundation of representative democracy. The articulation of a sonic utterance as one's self-identification becomes the shtick of citizenship. What cannot be voiced is ostracized as politically null.

Certainly, not every ontological enunciation is to be expressed by voicing oneself's identification (whatever this might be). One example of this is the abstraction of voice found in Inuit throat singing, where voice serves as a rhythmic bias that works more as an invocation. The expressiveness of sounds through the pneuma has a multiplicity of channels, the voicing of identity is only one of them, hegemonized by liberal politics.

By Voicing Abstraction we take aim at the inherent contradiction of placing these two words together. Learning from the legacy of indigenous art, abstraction is much more than the refusal of representation, as opposed to Western modernity; it's the articulation of meaning at the service of a specific community, used as a strategy to safeguard non-colonial memory. Abstraction, in this case, is not unintelligible but enigmatically literal. With this Current, we are examining practices of voicing that take distance from the politics of representation, articulating spaces where indigenous silences, the poetics of sound and the ritualistic dimension of language open the space for a different kind of the self, one not mediated by the state or by the taxonomy of liberal politics.

Voicing Abstraction’s first entry, Wave #7, presents a diverse collection of artists, practitioners, and thinkers. Their work takes the form of hybrid essays, sound pieces, jam sessions, images and intimate conversations.

  • Audible Matter / Wave #6
  • January 2022
  • 6

Audible Matter / Wave #6:

Audible Matter was the title of our second Current, exploring the relationship between sound, the audible and matter. By acknowledging the distance between the human-known and the enigmas of the planetary-unknown we are keen on exploring the possibilities of sound as a place for cognitive and sensitive growth in kinship with the planet. We opened this Current by asking about mediation and translation, about indigenous epistemologies in tandem with the non-human world and about silence and infrasonic registers of sound.

Through the exploration of audible matter, we aim to learn from river’s stones, speculative archeological objects, specters of colonial history, bells transformed into weapons, Mayan textiles, volcanoes, diasporic histories and sonic images. We know that an exploration of the sonic must debunk the cognitive reduction of the audible to Western reason.

By taking distance from the common separation between matter and sound, we propose an understanding of the sonic in tandem with the materiality of the world to which humans comprise merely one part. In this case, we participate in a system of knowledge that, instead of belonging to us, we belong to. We are part of something larger than the sum of our individualities. A forest and its sounds can be understood as a non-human knowledge system, where matter, sound and audibility are not completely separate.

We close Audible Matter with Wave #6, and we cannot express enough gratitude for the trust of the many artists, curators, scholars, thinkers, musicians, activists, weavers and poets who dedicated their time and creative energy to the development of these three Waves. We couldn’t do this without you. We are also grateful to you, our dear listeners, for your time and consistent complicity. We know you are out there, and this is the Us that constitutes our community. We exist because you are reading these lines.

  • Audible Matter / WAVE #5
  • September 2021
  • 8

Audible Matter / WAVE #5:

How can we center an audible experience based on the agency of matter? In other words, how do stones listen? What do they hear? Through Audible Matter, we want to celebrate the ever-failing attempt of human translation. The sound that wind makes through leaves in a densely populated forest represents the overwhelming nature of the audible, irreducible to human knowledge. Yet, we keep trying. We keep listening, hoping to engage with the cosmic nature of death, life and everything in between.

Audible Matter might appear as a seemingly contradictory enunciation. From within Western tradition, sound has been detached from its materiality. As a visually centered culture, the very proof of the “realness” of matter relies on it being revealed to us visually. Its formal qualities frame the perception of reality. Sound then is associated with a procedure of abstraction, detached from the formalities of matter. Curiously, this relationship of audible-matter is part of our daily representation of reality as much as the visual representation of the world is. While turning a corner, the frenetic sound of a car approaching our sight announces its momentary presence. Sound, we could argue, is associated with common knowledge as much as the visual regime is.

Rather than sound in the service of knowledge, Audible Matter exists as a contingency. The caresses of the desert wind of the Atacama against the dunes have meaning only until we take part in the desert as a system. Acknowledging this juncture with its potentialities, paradoxes and impossibilities is at the core of this Current. These acknowledgments happen together with an outstanding group of artists, musicians, curators and thinkers in our Wave #5; they challenge the very way we relate to the act of listening.

  • Audible Matter / WAVE #4
  • April 2021
  • 6

Audible Matter / WAVE #4:

A variation of a popular saying goes “Si el río suena, es porque piedras lleva,” [1] conceding rumor mills as a valid source of knowledge. If many people speak about the same thing with a minimal consensus, there must be an underlying truth to be discovered. Rumors are the encounter of sonic energy and social language.

The entanglement of knowledge and sound is to be understood from within the intimacy of situated collectivities and their relation to the audible. Sound is mediated, translated and negotiated collectively from where systems of non-Western knowledge take shape. The river groans because its materiality is in friction with the world.

Audible Matter, the title of our second Current, aims to think about the conjuncture of soundings and knowing-the-world through an audible experience. Contrary to a reduction of sound to cognitive human processes, we take inspiration in the anthropologist Steven Feld’s work on Acoustemology, considering situated knowledge and social systems that act with the world, and whose knowledge is based in collective memory, anti-colonial resistance and non-human kinship. The notion of knowledge is activated through the de-substantialization of sound, acting as ontological relationality, a sound that is simultaneously situated and fugitive and exists always in relation to others.

With our next set of Waves, we will respond to questions such as: How is sound mediated and translated? How does it shape indigenous epistemologies in tandem with the non-human world? How does the audible engage with the enigmas of silence and infrasonic registers of sound? Where do culture and the materiality of sound find each other? How do the sounds of trans-Atlantic waves pummeling stones into sand build upon a philosophical and existential experience?

We are beginning our exploration of Audible Matter by focusing on these types of questions. Our Wave #4 features sound artists, experimental composers, filmmakers, writers, musicians, scholars and artists.

[1] “If the river groans, it’s because it carries stones.”

  • Sonic Realism / Wave #3
  • January 2021
  • 7

Sonic Realism / Wave #3:

Much has changed since we launched Infrasonica eight months ago. The beginning of this journey has been challenging and joyful. The project is moving fast and our community of collaborators, accomplices and listeners is growing. This is about learning and working together. Sound then becomes a place where commonality is possible and we want to start by thanking all of you who speak and listen, raising your voices, which are also our voices.

This first Current, titled Sonic Realism, aimed to explore the possibilities of sound beyond the audible. Sound as a potentiality that engages with deep transformation and that reflects our own sensitive constitution as occlusive but compelling expressive manifestations of beings. Sonic Realism is a call for vibrations that speak of encounters, affinities, kinship and language.

  • Sonic Realism / Wave #2
  • September 2020
  • 5

Sonic Realism / Wave #2:

According to an article published in the Guardian on July 23rd, we are experiencing an unprecedented wave of silence. With Covid-19, factories have closed, roads have emptied and metropolises have abruptly shifted from frenetic movement to quiet solitude. This wave of silence can be seen flowing from Asia to the Americas – a dramatic change in the earth’s sonic landscape. What remains untold is what type of silence we are talking about. Silence is not the absence of sound, but a different fluctuation of it, inextricably entwined with the act of listening. What emerged with Covid-19 was the audibility and the registering of a vibration that was previously blurred by the schizophrenic sound of modern life; the obtuse jumble of sound. Suddenly, the registers of temblors that were undetectable became possible. These weren’t new sounds emerging, what changed was our sonic kinship with the planet.

Since we launched Infrasonica, much has changed. People are suffering the consequences of decades of neoliberal economic reforms that have fractured the public infrastructure. Social movements have called for a reimagining of society and life – one that maintains meaningfulness with, and despite, digital anxiety. How can we articulate forms of social encounter, exploring strategies of actualization amid social unrest, the devastation of the planet and the colossal failure of liberal politics? We are witnessing a world that dialectically falls apart and emerges, revealing what was hidden. The wave of silence emerging with the pandemic then posits new questions regarding our ability to hear and to feel in a non-colonial register. Beyond the frenzied noise of the modern world, ancestrality and the sounds emerging from indigenous vibrations might be announcing something that was previously too hard to hear.

Following the exploration of Sonic Realism, we are keen to contribute to a debate around non-colonial sounds, looking with suspicion at the discourses that aim to erase the traces of its colonial and racial configuration. In this way, we propose an understanding of the materiality of sound, emerging from the fractures of modern subjectivity.

  • Sonic Realism / Wave #1
  • April 2020
  • 7

Sonic Realism / Wave #1:

Sound waves are affected by matter. While facing an obstacle they bend, forging alternative paths that draw upon new images of movement, like currents tightening as they pass through a narrow waterway. We thought of diffraction as a powerful metaphor to consider sound and politics. Diffraction is the phenomena of sound, light or electromagnetic waves whose movements are dictated by the obstructions they encounter. The contingencies of sounds in relation to matter are testimonies of the world: Sonic Realism.

Nicola Cruz (Limoges, 1987) is a Franco-Ecuadorian DJ and producer, who explores local sounds from Ecuador and the region, recontextualizing them into complex compositions that defy categorization. In recent years, he has expanded his sound, which was initially called “Andes step”, propelling the genre forward. His studio work Prender el Alma (ZZK Records, 2015) and his recent album Siku (ZZK Records, 2019), reaffirm him as the owner of an unmistakable sound that has managed to entangle with the use of ancient instruments while inserting itself into contemporary electronics. Taken from his EP Cantos de Vision (Multi Culti, 2017), the track Danza de Visión is a great entry to his proposal.

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