'Concrete' (excerpt)
by Jorge Solís Arenazas, translation by Robin Myers

How can we recover what we interpret as ephemeral, residual, and random in order to problematize what we consider immobile, central, and definitive?

By exploring the acoustic properties of specific sites, Lorena Mal counseled by acoustic physicists and sound engineers, investigates the paths followed by sound matter; the angles it traces as it travels; the ranges of pressure it applies; and the variations it undergoes in response to the shapes of the walls, ceilings, floors, and so forth. Finally, she locates the points where sound density intensifies and grows more concentrated. Analyzing this mass of data allows us to understand the appearance and features of the space in question. At the same time, and even more importantly, it reveals the space’s vulnerable areas, the zones of greatest susceptibility to alteration by sound’s unpredictable path.

Concrete Acoustics doesn’t seek to obtain the space’s auditory narrative, nor does it intend to represent that narrative via particular aesthetic parameters. What it does, rather, is intervene in the space, exacerbating its characteristics so that they may redefine the conception of the architectural site. It obliges the space to take risks, to shatter its traditional hierarchical logic, to de-center its interpretation from materials, functions, and other traditional reference points.

The sculptural aspect of the installation is by no means scenographic; it directly engages in the phenomenon it questions. Not only does it expose the form of the construction; it also works to reformulate its very meaning. At no point does it seek to provide a scaled recreation or to amplify the occurrences produced there. Quite the contrary: it operates on a literal, physical, immediate level, eliminating the distances between the listener/observer and what he or she perceives (a perception, incidentally, that always exists on the borderline).

Concrete Acoustics operates along the borderline of the perceptible, and we must remain in silence in order to listen.

A sound happens at the center a space
It is a mechanical force, it pushes the air
it moves
in all directions

Parts of this force hits a surface and changes direction
As fast as 343 meters a second on air
it's force can be absorbed or resisted by materials
The more solid, the more it rejects
The more porous, the more it absorbs

Humans are porous
The sound goes through us, and a transformation takes place

Walls and concrete do not give in so much, they resist

Sound and architecture are constantly challenging each others borders

What negotiations of limits are happening in the space that we can't see?

A sound happens at the center of a space
it spreads
it's reflected once
it's reflected twice

Sound fills the space

If we see it in fragments we can see through
10,000 angles 360 degrees of a 1000Hz sound at 8dB reflecting twice in the space
Standards of a sound that behaves constantly and reflects predictably
To find were does the sound concentrates
Which bridge of communication is been given by the architecture?

What happens when the invisible it turns into matter?