When I was a child I went to Ciudad Juárez to visit my grandmother. We walked in the desert and listened to the wind. She told me that the earth was telling us its stories. I believe that the earth has a sort of consciousness all her own. She bears witness to all of human experiences. She remembers it in her soil and proclaims it on the wind. Every event no matter how small, how private, how brutal or how fleeting is hers to know and to tell. She does not forget.
Montoya intermingles electronic artifice with natural phenomena El Aire Me Habla de Ti creates a responsive sound environment that tells of the 12 year series of murders of women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. A custom Max/MSP application is literally and figuratively used to harness the winds of Ciudad Juárez and to link the physical terrain of that city with the conceptual terrain of the installation space in real time. The visitor listens to the stories of the hundreds of women who have been brutally robbed of their lives in Ciudad Juárez . . .The television monitor shows a digital video of woman’s walk from a Juárez neighborhood, past crosses marking the death of others like her, to her workplace. The sounds of a woman’s voice detailing the circumstances of each murder moves around the room at the speed and in the direction of the wind ‘blowing in’ from Ciudad Juárez. Viewers experience a soundscape whose ‘life’ is infused with information about Ciudad Juárez. This facet of the piece creates a technological convergence of ‘that place’ with ‘this place’ and suggests the communal experience of a global society.
Carmen Montoya, “El Aire Me Habla de Ti The Wind Speaks to Me of You”, 2006, single-channel digital video, four channel surround sound, found furniture, custom software, and current online weather data from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico