La Sonora Telemática

Part workshop, part collective documentation, part installation, part audiovisual collage, part occupation… this was a project that combined ideas from two previous projects, El Abismo No Nos Detiene and Æffect Lab, to create a collective narrative about events related to the Maple Spring protests of 2012.

Whether you participated or disagreed with the manifestations, if you were in Montreal around the time of the protests, you probably have an opinion about them.

We wanted to take the opportunity to allow participants and citizens to create a collective media archive, and then use this material to create their own narratives based on their experiences and perspectives.

This unfolded during a 3-day workshop at the 2014 Sight+Sound Festival. During the workshop we introduced the idea of a collective archive and narrative, and developed a simple framework that allowed participants to upload different kinds of audiovisual media onto a server.

The contributed files were then organized and tagged using water-related words, that the group deemed symbolic of the lifecycle of the Maple Spring; and the entire archive was played by a kind of digital media orchestra, made up of a variety of screens and megaphones, installed at the entrance of the gallery where the Sight+Sound Festival took place.

The overall narrative of this media composition was determined by a server that sent out keywords and tags, to try to control the overall mood and pacing of the installation. Each member of the digital orchestra was programmed by a different workshop participant, and had its own logic regarding which media it played for each keyword/tag, but they all followed queues from the same server/conductor.