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by fabon the moon

Adro da Sé de Viseu
(Português) 08 JUL às 23H00




If the song is an effect of the breath of the singer, are these objects alive?


If the West dominates, here we converse.

If the West explodes, here we take care.

If the West prevails over all things;

Here is the same with everything that surrounds us.

Proyecto Andino de Tecnología Campesina (PRATEC)

When did we silence the world?

When did we declare it over and singularly, ours?

When did we lose the profound ways to construct a speech that resides beyond strict corporeal bounds? This research is infused with the energy of unlearning. With silence, in order to connect with the primal and listen to the whispers of our pre-columbian ancestors.

The creatures of Vica Pacheco (Oaxaca,1993) feed on the sensibilities agreed upon by our ancestors. During the previous epochs, before the Conquest and the dispossession of the territory we now call America, the world was not only inhabited with that which is alive (alt), but also with that which is between life and death (xoco) and that which is shared with the spirits. (octli).

These creatures (whistling vessels) drift from rational thought to recover the communication channel of all the beings that co-exist in the world. They move beyond the surfaces that communicate with our skin (and our bad habit of wanting to understand all that surrounds us). Rational thought has been developed in a hierarchical and unanimated world that simply categorizes mystery to avoid the responsibility of understanding it, let alone live alongside it.

Animacy or a breath manifest considers the vessel as the possible medium to contain, but also release and summon empathy.  Pre-columbian technology mirrors contemporary technology in the way it explores the multiple directions of communication and its rhizomatic structure, stretching way beyond the body.

Animism isn’t limited to the ability to move forward or back in time and becoming a bird, a jaguar, a sunset or a deathbed.  Its metamorphosis never ceases, it overflows, discovering instead a myriad extensions beyond the supposed limits of the body.

The vessels making up this orchestra reflect the communication technologies to which our ancestors entrusted their future.

During the performance, Vica Pacheco surrenders her individuality, utilizing her body to transform into one of the whistling vessels of her orchestra and communicate through breath and sound. For a moment, more beings are allowed to claim their space in the room. In this act of mutual recognition, the artist and creatures are equally alive.

They receive and share one breath. «United by an intimate complicity, they are ontological twins» (Sloterdijk, 2011: 44).

Vica’s practice dwells between ritual and translation, where healing becomes a dialogue to understand that, if everything is alive, the conversation surpasses the word;  that speech can be renewed through affect, sensations and perceptions.

I find the sound of this orchestra to be an anthropocentric antidote.

The sonic environment created by these creatures embraces the fractured identity of the grandmothers convoking the rain every sowing season. It was said that they were right and that their knowledge was constructed from a different understanding of speech; in this environment, the future is actually imagined by the different living, divergent, collaborative and changing perspectives that inhabit it.

By blurring the words’ flow, it renders attention to the breath and its capacity to tune it with the speaker.

Dea López

Oaxaca, 2021.


Co-funded by OVERTOON and the Creative Europe program of the European Union




Vica Pacheco was born in Oaxaca, southern Mexico, in 1993. She lives and works in Brussels. In her multifaceted practice, she combines electroacoustic music, sound art, video animation and sculpture.

Her performance ‘Animacy Or A Breath Manifest’ emerged from an investigation of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican instruments, made from pottery known as whistling vessels. This resulted in a series of hydraulic sound sculptures that open up a whole new sonic universe, in which breathing, organicity and energy are central elements. In doing so, Pacheco draws on ancient musical and ritual practices as well as mythological meanings.