Voicing Abstraction / Wave #9 SOUND October 2023

Museum of the Resurrection

Alan Poma


You are an artist who moves fluidly through different media, embracing technology not as an entirely formal or technical aspect of your practice but as a language. To be more specific, your practice presents us with ways of projecting Andean temporalities, especially through sound, moving image, and performance. Would you tell us a bit more about how you ended up working with the notion of future and futurabilities?

Alan Poma

My focus on the future took shape as a result of my adaptation of the Russian Cubo-Futuristic opera "Victory over the Sun". Throughout the creative and research process, I set out to conduct scenic and visual experiments in collaboration with artists from Lima. Our dialogue encompassed elements such as music, lighting, video, and performance, spanning a period of eight years.

During this period, I had the opportunity to explore the ideas, concepts, and context of Russian Cubo-Futurism (1913) and pre-Columbian Andean astronomy. In these fields, I not only discovered techniques for employing the past in the reconstruction of the future, but also an approach to the conception of Andean time through monumental instruments of measurement. These Andean specialists created architectures designed to observe the sky to identify patterns and anticipate stellar phenomena.
The cyclical vision to anticipate the future was also present in both fields. This led me to consider Andean Futurism as a medium that fuses the tradition of avant-garde art and the rich Andean cultural tradition. Thus, I explored narratives in which the cyclical could be a tool to reinterpret an Andean future from today's perspective.

Approaching this "invisible dimension" generates an understanding that goes beyond the superficial or idealization and delves into subtler and deeper aspects of culture, allowing the artist to reinterpret and recontextualize elements of the past to create something new in the future.

The cosmovisions of Native American peoples present certain perceptions of reality that differ from those of the West. In that sense, the temporal focus of my work is also rooted in the pre-Columbian conception of the Andean world, where the notion of death differs from the Western vision. From this perspective, the deceased live perpetually with us or remain alive in our being. An example of this belief is reflected in the proliferation of mummies that, during Inca times, possessed land and even servants. Many of today's Andean communities share this temporal dimension, which is manifested in their festive and ritual calendars.
This recontextualization facilitates a deeper understanding of our tradition in an environment free from the pressures of the marketplace, creating an environment conducive to experimentation and the expression of Andean concepts.


Your work, by learning and feeding from this vast Andean philosophical tradition, develops a method that you have applied to your sound projects. Tell us a little more about this.

Alan Poma

My working approach, influenced by the Andean philosophical tradition, focuses on sound creation and its relationship to dimensions that are created through experimentation. I start from the assumption that sound transcends any established order. In Andean philosophy, this manifestation is conceptualized as 'Pacha' by the Peruvian philosopher Zenón Depaz, representing a totality that manifests itself in a profound way within the Andean animist cosmovision.

This concept is observed in history, where the Andean "masters of sonority" managed to give voice to this Pacha through hydraulic sound engineering, using sound as a means of communication in ritual contexts, as evidenced in the ritual complex of Chavín (900 - 200 B.C.). Thus, sound played an essential role in communication in this ritual context.

Applying these ideas, in my installation "Enemy of the Stars," sound becomes a medium that gives voice to physical space, establishing a dialogue through vibrations that influence the surrounding architecture. This in-depth approach explores the relationship between sound and its environment. In addition, in my work I have experimented with the technique of "chopping and slowing down songs," which has allowed me to transform the perception of time. Modifying the pitch has been fundamental to achieve malleability in sound and time, allowing me to reimagine Andean music towards a future that is not limited to "high definition" or "virtuosity."

At present, I am immersed in the creation of an experimental opera based on 'El Pez de Oro,' a work by Gamaliel Churata, a prominent Andean avant-garde writer. This project seeks to explore the mythical dimension of Andean culture through the sound, poetry, and hymns present in the original work.


Museum of the Resurrection was recorded in Nazca, Peru.
Camera: Juan Baca.
Editor: Aldo Caceda.
Vocal: Edith Ramos.
Lyrics: Fragment of "El Pez de Oro" by Gamaliel Churata.
Music: Alan Poma / Edith Ramos.

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