In a digital bundle signed by the artist, musician and educator Víctor Nubla we come across mention of “Arte electrodoméstico” or “domestic appliance art”, a type of art made with available electronic media at home and later mailed. From the 1980s, this movement materialised in Spain with the production of tapes by groups and artists such as Guajar's Faragüit, Ani Zinc, Camino al Desván, Depósito Dental, Error Genético, Macromassa (a project by the aforementioned Nubla) and La Otra Cara de un Jardín. Independent record labels also surfaced, for instance Discos Esplendor Geométrico, Ortega y Cassette and Toracic Tapes, as did fanzines like Cloruro Sónico, Necronomicón, Syntorama and P.O.BOX, which went on the airwaves with the homonymous programme broadcast by the independent station Ràdio PICA.
Through this historical lens, the programme Domestic Appliance Art takes its point of departure from the cassette, a small-scale support which today is an object of desire, beyond its utility, to investigate present-day domestic space. The word cassette, which in French can be translated as both small box and prison, also alludes to enclosure, since domestic space for many people is not solely a place of security, comfort and creative reflection but also one of reclusion and work.
Throughout this encounter certain questions will be explored, for instance the meaning of domestic appliance culture when cheaper technological media allow mass access to phones that are more powerful than the computers around forty years ago, the scope of domesticity today, and whether returning or not to such a concept at a time in which a large part of the population are shut in their homes making music on their computers is pertinent.
By delving deeper into the domesticity of appliance, this activity also seeks to widen the margins of listening to different inhabitants and agents — human and non-human, vegetative, electro-domestic — that make up our domestic space, or what we call house or home. Different forms that make up the same place, different territories in which different temporalities cross over and from which perspectives that reach remote locations open.
Since 2020, the research group Electrodoméstica, comprising José Luis Espejo, Susana Jiménez Carmona and Sarah Rasines, has been conducting research into gardens, domestic space and tapes, as well as the potential aesthetic and political relations found at such intersections. In this talk, they put forward a narrative — in the form of a presentation — with which to thread together the rest of the encounter.
7:30pm A Territorio Doméstico sound intervention
On 11 April 2021, inside the framework of Meta Music Machines , some members from Territorio Doméstico took part in a workshop with artist Oscar Martín on the creative use of accessible technologies, such as mobile phones. The experience resulted in Claudia, Flora, Iris, Juliana, Maria Lilia and Sara recording sounds from their daily lives to construct the sound piece made in collaboration with Susana.
8pm Javi Cruz + José Venditti
Javi Cruz and José Venditti will give a joint presentation in which they work from performance and sound in relation to the plants with which we share spaces domestically and which inhabit the garden holding the event.
Javi Cruz has worked in projects such as Bosque R.E.A.L, since 2019, studying the “natural” dimension of our cities, and Trémula, an account of a common aspen — Populus tremula — planted in 1980 near the building where he grew up and still lives. He is currently working on projects related to drawing, stage events, masonry and performative powers found in orality and other textualities.
Territorio Doméstico, which came into being in 2006, is a space of encounter, care and women’s struggles, mostly migrant women’s, for the recognition of their diminished rights as domestic workers and to give care work more visibility. In 2019, they released the record Sin nosotras se para el mundo (Without Women the World Stops), a compilation of songs that give a voice to the situation these female workers face and were played on the streets to animatedly vindicate their struggles. In 2020 they produced They Wanted Arms but People Arrived, a radio series and theatre piece on migration and domestic work.
José Luis Espejo has been conducting research into tape exchange networks in Spain for a number of years: in 2021, he held a research residency at the Sound Art and Experimental Music Library in Murcia and in 2015 conducted research into archives, fanzines and texts in the project MASE, the History and Presence of Sound Art in Spain. He is an advisor on the live arts programme (music-sound) of the Museo Reina Sofía’s Department of Public Activities and is a contributor with and founding member of RSS, the Museo’s online radio station.
Susana Jiménez Carmona is an associate professor in Aesthetics and Art Theory at the Autonomous University of Madrid and a guest lecturer on the MA in Sound Art at the University of Barcelona. She also works with the collective Territorio Doméstico, producing phonographic and theatre pieces such as Anti-ritornello and They Wanted Arms but People Arrived. Her work flows between music, sound art and collaborative art, from both artistic practice and research.
Sarah Rasines has directed, since 2018, Crystal Mine, a project which has come to fruition in an independent record label and programme on Radio Relativa, which aims to promote the exchange of tape music under the #anticopyright philosophy. She is an artist and independent cultural manager and has been part of the research group Ikersoinu (Sound Research and Art Space) at the University of the Basque Country.
José Venditti is a composer and sound artist based in Madrid. On 24 November 2019, he made, in a collaboration with the Institute for Post Natural Studies, the concert-performance Concerto for Plants, determining which frequencies better stimulate plants and the physiological responses created in them. The concert was later released on tape by the Crystal Mine label.