‘Só assim você me escuta!!!’ Belo Horizonte Intangible – en ‘Arena da Cultura’ – Brazil

Belo Horizonte

View of Belo Horizonte from Arena da Cultura

In April 2014, I was invited by the Escola Livre de Artes-Arena da Cultura ( read on  this link about Arena da Cultura) from Belo Horizonte – Minas Gerais, Brazil, to offer a workshop in Listening to Intangible Cities. This workshop which I have offered previously in Veracruz – Mexico, has been designed to perceive the essence of cities through walking and listening deeply in silence, and to develop a collaborative process, involving creative practice and research.


Boy dancing with the bin, which is moved by the wind, Belo Horizonte, 2014


Pop corn – density, by Josie, Belo Horizonte 2014


by Josie, Belo Horizonte 2014

Through the exploration of multisensory perceptions departing from listening, and recording of the experience in different media, along different areas of Belo Horizonte, I wanted to stimulate the generation of creative projects and transdisciplinary research.  The practice of Deep Listening and energy body work was introduced to the participants everyday to open their ears and bodies to the full perception of the city.

Working in four teams during three days, cross-disciplinary artists perceived essences of the city which they named:  ‘Só assim você me escuta!!! ‘ (Only in this way you can hear me!!!), ‘Organi-cidade Programada’  (Programmed Organic-City – play on words), ‘Mudança de olhar perspectiva açao e atuaçao’ (Change of seeing perspective, action, and performance). Departing from the essences they developed questions such as ‘Pra quê tanto barulho? Posso fazer un buraco no barulho?’ (Why so much noise? Could we make a hole in the noise?; ‘Qual a relação do nosso corpo com o corpo da cidade? Como você se desloca?’  (What is the relationship of our body with the body of the city? How you dislocate?); ‘Qual é o fazer passivo e ativo dessa relação urbana? Porque a cidade muitas vezes gera um sentimento de vazio, exclusão e solidão? Sente porque age ou age porque sente? Olha porque atua ou atua porque olha?’ (What is the passive and active making of this urban relationship? Why the city often generates a feeling of emptiness, exclusion and loneliness? Feeling because of acting or acting because you feel? Seeing because performing or performing because seeing?)

Workshop in Arena da Cultura, Belo Horizonte 2014

Workshop in Arena da Cultura, Belo Horizonte 2014

Group 4, Workshop in Arena da Cultura, Belo Horizonte 2014

Group 4, Workshop in Arena da Cultura, Belo Horizonte 2014

Group 2, Workshop in Arena da Cultura, Belo Horizonte 2014

Group 2, Workshop in Arena da Cultura, Belo Horizonte 2014

Group 1, Workshop in Arena da Cultura, Belo Horizonte 2014

Group 1, Workshop in Arena da Cultura, Belo Horizonte 2014

Group 3, Workshop in Arena da Cultura, Belo Horizonte 2014

Group 3, Workshop in Arena da Cultura, Belo Horizonte 2014

Triggered by the reflection on these profound questions, they developed creative invitations for listening that were offered to the other groups, through installations, and performance.


Group 3, Fragment of invitations to listen, Arena da Cultura, Belo Horizonte, 2014



Installation that invites us to listen, by Gobira and Marcia

At the end of the workshop, we had an important reflection about the origins of violence and conflict originated in the lack of listening (individual and social). It was very nourishing for me to share this rich time with such an amazing group of artists and thinkers. The question of ‘barullo’ or ‘noise’ is not as simple as the number of decibels that a source of sound might produce. It is deeply ingrained in social and cultural forms of listening, and the need of being heard. The embodied practice of Deep Listening stimulates our awareness of sound and silence, of ourselves and others in a place, and has an incredible potential to permeate daily social and cultural interactions for conflict resolution.

I am grateful with Arena da Cultura for the invitation, and I hope that this work transcends in more developments in the future.

Poblenou Intangible: Listening to intangible cities

As part of a collaboration with the project Chronica Mobilis, I offered a workshop Listening to Intangible Cities, focusing on Poblenou. After a Deep Listening meditation participants went to listen to selected routes, in teams and in verbal silence. The re-discovering of the acoustic environment, together with its intriguing non-logic relation to cartography, and the steady rhythm of a routine in a sunny afternoon amazed us. Three groups bringing contrasting experiences of Poblenou, the central context of the Chronica Mobilis project was fascinating. Autumn leaves shaken by the wind were linking us from Hangar to the sea. Murilo Dada, from Chronica Mobilis’ team remembers: Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 18.45.11 “No dia 13, Ximena Alarcon nos mostrou uma outra forma de se perceber o ambiente com a prática de Deep Listening. Primeiro fizemos um exercício em que, sentamos na silenciosa sala Ricson do Hangar.org, ficamos de olhos fechados apenas prestando atenção ao sons do ambiente. Depois de alguns minutos apenas ouvindo e se concentrando, nós compartilhamos nossas experiências. É incrível como passamos a notar alguns sons que passam despercebidos nos dia a dia como o ruído de uma lâmpada halogênica ou as folhas roçando o chão.  Na segunda etapa saimos para a rua em grupos com um microfone para ouvir e gravar os sons da cidade. Na minha experiência os carros (e principalmente as motos) eram muito presentes, mas quando eles passavam se podiar ouvir uma maquina de café aqui, pessoas em um bar conversando ali ou os andaimes sendo desmontando por um trabalhador. No final, nos surpreendemos como um sentido como a audição pode “falar” tanto sobre um local sem usar palavras.” http://chronicamobilis.net/pt/oficina-de-deep-listening/ In our team/grupo, we felt the intense need of making sound to intervene in the steadiness of the area: IMG_1167 IMG_1179                             Thanks to Vanessa Santos for inviting me to collaborate to this interesting project. More about Chronica Mobilis here: http://chronicamobilis.net/en/project/

Deep Listening at Scotland Scottish Workshop

Becoming Rocks

Becoming Rocks – performance by participants in Deep Listening Workshop

From 29th to 30th July, I had a great experience teaching Deep Listening in Scotland to a group of 10 people at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop (SSW), a 35 years old public funded space for art and artists. It is the driving alternative creative force in Lunsdon village, one hour north from Aberdeen; the farthest north I’ve been on my life.

SSW is committed to change the world and our oil culture. They are very interested in sustainability and want to strengthen their connections to the land. The Deep Listening workshop was another step in their quest. A wonderful Deep time that strengthened our connections with nature and society, and with ourselves. Thanks a lot to Nuno Sacramento and Brett Bloom for organising this workshop. Thanks to all the participants who were committed during two full intense days to listen deeply.

This workshop was commissioned by the Deep Listening Institute.

Points of Listening

As part of the CRiSAP initiative Points of Listening I led a 3 hours Deep Listening workshop in the Swiss Church, in January 8th, 2014.

“‘When you listen, something will happen’ is one of the many intriguing invitations that Pauline Oliveros, composer, educator, humanitarian and creator of the Deep Listening practice, makes to her students. PoL (Points of Listening) invites you to experience your deepest point of listening, as an inner departure to explore your sonic Universe and embrace it.”

Many participants were amazed with the original experience. The space has a very reverberant acoustic space. Someone wondered if the workshop was about ‘listening’ or about ‘interacting with each other’. Listening has wider manifestations that challenge our ideas of where processes start or end. This experience continues amazing me.

Original post and documentation:

Points of Listening - Swiss Church, London

Points of Listening – Swiss Church, London

La Veracruz Intangible – Arte Transversal

Un día de taller en el Centro Veracruzano para las Artes – CEVART compartiendo percepciones de la ciudad con 22 talentosos artistas de diversas disciplinas, explorando el inmenso y bello puerto de Veracruz – México en silencio. Este taller fue parte del Primer Encuentro de Arte Transversal.

An intense day workshop in Centro Veracruzano para las Artes – CEVART sharing perceptions of the city with 22 talented artists from diverse disciplines exploring the immense and beautiful port of Veracruz- Mexico in silence.

Gracias a todos los participantes!!!