Maquinas Humanas

Joaquin Cófreces

June 15, 2018 [2018 Season]

Maquinas Humanas was produced by Joaquin Cófreces.

Joaquin writes:

This sound piece is an adaptation of the play R.U.R (Rossum's Universal Robots) that was written in 1920 by Karel Čapek. The story takes place on an island where there’s a factory that makes androids which are being sold to the world as a cheap labor force. Although at first they seem happy to work for their creators, the play climaxes with the end of the human race due to a hostile robot rebellion.

In this visionary play the author criticizes our attitude towards technology. He expresses that all the machines can be worthless to humankind if we don't know how to use them, and his belief that not all progress means evolution.

The piece is a free adaptation of the original text, and a mixture between drama and radio art, with the aesthetic of comics. I had in mind the concept of a factory, assembling pieces from many sound sources. The work is made in different languages because the play happens in a kind of Babel tower. The voices were made with text to speech software to suggest that even humans can behave like robots, losing their emotions, living lives of repetition while building invisible systems of control. I wanted to create a mechanical experience with an electronic rhythm, an artificial reality and a world full of tiny noises.

Constellations says:

Even if you don't understand Spanish, this piece is an evocative, multi-lingual sci-fi adventure. Masterfully produced, its assemblage of voices, samples, sound design, complex musical beds and sound effects wind it up into a delicious ear candy collage that leaves listeners reeling and dreaming.  We haven't heard any sound-art fiction like this before. 

Joaquin Cófreces was born in 1975. He is a sound storyteller from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, whose work ranges from features, to radio art, radio drama, museum installations, field recordings, sound art, to soundscapes. He has run and spoken at conferences, workshops, and universities around the world, and been featured by broadcasters, festivals and galleries in China, Iran, India, France, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Belgium, Norway, Croatia, Finland, Australia, and beyond. A dedicated collector of sounds, he brings a recorder on his travels instead a camera. Joaquin understands radio as a space for experimentation, and sound as a global way of telling stories in an emotional language. 

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