Animacy or A breath manifest Vica Pacheco Nov 2021 -
Vica Pacheco's project consists of creating her own whistling vessels with the creative process of crafting and new technologies such as 3D-modeling, 3D-printing and industrial design techniques. The purpose is to experiment with their sonic potential in a full range of variations of shapes and sounds. Vica found it persistent to bring forward this «archaic» technology with new technologies. However, it is important for her to continue creating them in clay.
Vica's practice revolves around her indigenous roots and syncretic culture (the contemporary Mexican culture). People of pre-colonial times perceived and comprehended the world, as dynamic and transforming, as a field of relations between beings of all kinds. One part of her cultural heritage is based on these beliefs. She began to be fascinated by pre-Columbian musical instruments, as they are a synthesis of a complex system of beliefs that her ancestors wove and which can be qualified as animistic. She could continue drawing a path, fabulating with these objects, and crafting new meanings around them.
After a three-month residency at EKWC in the Netherlands, she had the opportunity to concretise her first step in this project, creating 30 different models. Each with a different pitch, each with a different personality and a breath of its own.
She conceived this project as long-term research and experimental process. At the moment her focus is on the performative aspect with the first series. She's still discovering different ways to produce sound with them, to interact with them in a performative context, researching the range of frequencies and using hypnotic swing techniques to produce the sound.
Animacy or A breath manifest will be a series of sound performances consisting in playing and amplifying the sound sculptures, looping and sampling them directly, using granular synthesis and digital sound effects to create an improvised composition, a sonic environment in formation. The importance of emphasising the idea of breathing came naturally when she experimented with it in her home studio. The instruments breathe; they breathe in while swinging to one side and they sing while exhaling while swinging to the other side.
An article by Tim Ingold inspired her, and important ideas appeared which added another meaning to the development of her performance.
No human, as Peter Sloterdijk has observed, exists at the centre of their own circle; they are always with another, as one pole in a bipolar ellipse. The one who breathes is also breathed upon: the two, ‘bonded by an intimate complicity’, are ontological twins (Sloterdijk, 2011: 44). Or in short, in the sharing of breath lies the very essence of human conviviality.
» T. Ingold «On Breath and Breathing: A Concluding Comment »
Intrigued by this quote, she realised how important it was to show the breathing properties of these instruments as the animistic approach and the relationship between the objects and herself. It is a crucial point in the evolution of the performance; letting the breathing to be perceived, slowly the accumulation of samples of their different sounds becomes a mass of signals, like an amplified rain forest, we can perceive some rhythms and chaos, then the calm comes again, a melodic part takes place, and her voice comes and joins the conversation, finally, the breath stays naked and the silence arrives to mark the end of the piece.
Vica's residency at Overtoon is extended with a residency at Beurschouwburg and cumulates with 2 performances.