Mareah, and a catalog of environments spanning three hours 2021

Monaural audio in wav and mp3 format on a USB memory card 03:00:00

Mareah, and a catalog of environments spanning three hours 2021

Israel Martínez

Given the impossibility of experiencing transit, movement and the swell of the sea during the pandemic (forgive the potential pleonasm), I decided to make use of an audio file from my archives—a recording taken with an amateur portable device six years ago in Acapulco on the balcony of my room. The recording was made while I slept (you can hear some light snoring), and I entitled it Mareah in very personal phonetic play on words with an album I called Nareah, released in 2009.

I thought about reproducing this three-hour-long recording in its entirety, and as an intervention, adding some ambient layers I usually play in my concerts (something I have been doing since the start of this millennium, albeit less regularly now). This means we can hear a variety of aural layers interfering intermittently the soundscape.

It is impossible to reproduce three hours of audio continuously on tape, vinyl, or on a CD, but not when using digital formats, tools, and devices. I have always wondered why, when we started using mp3s, we used them in the same way analog or physical-digital formats were being used. It took us a while to delve into the much-extended temporality they offered, compared to traditional mediums. Nowadays, for example, amazing sound projects are reproduced for years, ever transforming, over the internet.

I would like to share these three hours with you; you can listen to them continuously, or pause, stop, and listen again later, or even let the piece run on repeat for more hours. You could also play the piece through a speaker wherever you like: In the kitchen, on any table, in the shower, on the toilet tank, or on a dresser, in the bedroom, on some books, at a window (so your neighbors can feel the sea breeze as well). You can listen to the recording in the daytime and imagine whichever seascape you prefer, or listen at night and try to make out those distant lights. You might listen while enjoying a cup of tea, or open an ice-cold beer, savor a Cupreata mezcal from Guerrero state, or—why not—take a toke on a joint, or maybe a few. Make use of the piece contained in this practical device however you like, and if possible, share your experiences with us.

Israel Martínez (Guadalajara, Mexico, 1979) is an artist who works from sound to different media such as video, photography, text, publications, installation, actions and interventions in public spaces, with the aim of generating diverse social and political reflections in a critical way, and often exploring the stealth as a pertinent communicational tool. Creditor in 2007 of a Distinction Award in Prix Ars Electronica, has exhibited individually and collectively in MACBA, MuseumsQuartier, Moscow Biennial, daadgalerie, Haus Fur Elektronische Kunste Basel, Cultural Mission Center for Latin Arts, MUAC, Museo Universitario del Chopo, Museo Arte Carrillo Gil, MAZ, among other museums or spaces mainly in Europe and Mexico. In 2012 and 2017 he has been part of the Artists in Berlin Program from DAAD, and in 2014 of the MuseumsQuartier’s residence program in Vienna. He has published recordings and editorial work through Sub Rosa, Errant Bodies Press, Aagoo, The Wire, Hatje Cantz; and is co-founder of the record labels and collectives Abolipop and Suplex. He is currently a member of the National System of Art Creators in Mexico.