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Mexico celebrates its unique street sounds this week - USATODAY.com
"MEXICO CITY — From the earsplitting whistles of yam vendors to the squeeze horns of bakers delivering bread, Mexico can be a cacophony of strange sounds.
A series of four notes on a pan flute means the scissor-sharpening man is in the neighborhood. A ringing hand bell means the garbage truck is here. In parks on weekends, balloon vendors announce themselves with a buzzing plastic whistle.

The sounds are not just noise, say some. They are part of Mexico's culture, and the government is celebrating them, including "sound walks" through cities, performances of recorded street noise and a contest to choose "The Most Beautiful Sound in Mexico."

"People who come from other countries may be bothered by all this noise, but for Mexicans, these sounds are part of our identity," said Álvaro Hegewisch, director of Mexico's Fonoteca Nacional, or National Audio Archive.

GALLERY: The sounds of Mexico
To capitalize on the street sounds, the government has declared this week to be National Sound Week, which runs through Sunday.

During the week, government-run radio stations will play two-minute segments featuring Mexico's "endangered sounds," such as the tip-tap of cobblers hammering nails into leather or the notoriously out-of-tune organs played by Mexico City's organ grinders.

One spot features the sound of typing on manual typewriters used by public scribes or typists who serve illiterate Mexicans. The scribes fill out legal documents, government forms or take dictation for letters for customers and are found seated behind desks on sidewalks next to government offices and courts. The scribes are becoming fewer in number as literacy rises in Mexico.

'Most Beautiful Sound'

In Mexico City's Chapultepec Park — one of the few quiet corners in this metropolis of 20 million — listeners will gather to hear "soundscapes," or compilations of street noise, from India, Vancouver, Canada, and Mexico City itself. Other soundscapes feature the forests of Mexico's Michoacan state, the jungles of Chiapas and Indian dances from Papantla.

At an event in the east coast city of Veracruz, audiences will listen to sound effects re-creating events from the 1910-20 Mexican Revolution.

The National Audio Archive is inviting citizens to describe their favorite Mexican sounds through a page on its website. The sound mentioned the most will be named "The Most Beautiful Sound in Mexico" next Monday.

Mexico's unique sounds have long inspired outsiders.

Author D.H. Lawrence described the hum of a Mexican market as sounding "as if all the ghosts in the world were talking to one another."

The sounds of a Mexico City dance hall inspired composer Aaron Copland to write the tone poem El Salon Mexico.

In Calling Mexico, a short story by Ray Bradbury, a dying man in Illinois dials Mexico City just to hear the street noise: "a thousand people in another sunlight, and the faint, tinkling music of an organ grinder playing 'La Marimba.' "

Many of Mexico's sounds are kept alive by the country's street vendors. In Mexico City, thousands of roaming tamale carts play the same recording, a froggy voice that shouts "Riiiiiiiiiicos tamaaaaaaales oaaaaaaxaqueños!" ("Delicious Oaxacan tamales!")

Ice cream vendors ring a set of six small bells mounted on their carts. Sellers of roasted yams use a steam whistle attached to their rolling ovens.

"It's like a code that everyone knows. I make a certain sound, and everyone knows it's me," said Eleuterio Hernández, a bread seller.

He honked a squeeze horn while navigating a cart full of muffins and rolls through Mexico City's Coyoacan neighborhood.

In many cities, a loudspeaker can often be heard intoning "Refrigerators ... air-conditioners ... mattresses ... metal drums" with no explanation. It's a junk collector, looking for metal to buy.

Starting preservation efforts

Many parts of Mexico still have a town crier who shouts the day's headlines, or a community watchman who speeds through neighborhoods at 1 a.m., tooting a slide whistle to let everyone know all is well.

There are websites decoding the sounds. Cancunassist.com, a website for foreigners in Cancun, lists them under a section titled "What's all the noise in the street?"

In recent years, the government has started trying to preserve the country's sounds.

In 2008, it opened the National Audio Archive to computerize recordings and protect the originals in climate-controlled vaults. The agency now has some 274,000 tapes and records, from radio soap operas to recordings of dying Indian languages made by anthropologists.

"People from abroad have no idea what all these sounds mean to us," said Georgina Sanabria, academic director for the audio archive. "But for us, they're important, and we want to preserve them.""

[Gallery: http://mediagallery.usatoday.com/The-sounds-of-Mexico/G1725]
publicscribes  mexico  sound  cities  urban  urbanism  street  2010  raybradbury  dhlawrence  vendors  knifesharpeners  recordings  audio  soundscapes 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Leigh Blackall: Situated art, situated learning - En Route by One Step At A Time Like This
"I think the artistic intent of these concepts could be enhanced with study of Joseph Beuys' work, particularly the Free International University, as well as Situationist International and their desire to create environments for discovering and appreciating the true value of things rather than their staged value.

All of this makes for excellent examples to add to my essay in progress on Ubiquitous Learning - a critique, where I'm trying to argue that the words ubiquity and learning have nothing inherently to do with technology, and are instead words of ethical dimension, so the phrase ubiquitous learning should become one more to do with an ethical approach or framework to learning, and not one suggesting a technological determination of it."
context  situated  situationist  leighblackall  comments  josephbeuys  newpublicthinkers  technology  art  situatedlearning  ubiquitouslearning  2837university  agitpropproject  agitprop  williamhanks  randallszott  colinward  learning  unschooling  deschooling  education  messiness  ethics  georgesiemens  curation  curating  curatorialteaching  connectivism  space  place  explodingschool  adamgreenfield  guydebord  enroute  street  urban  urbanism  cities  cityasclassroom  thecityishereforyoutouse  cv  lcproject  psychogeography  urbanscale  salrandolph  situatedart 
may 2011 by robertogreco
unurth | street art
Kinda like Wooster, but with larger images and a cleaner design. Great content, well tagged, has that auto-extend feature when you get to the end of the page, and a nice index view too.
art  streetart  graffiti  illustration  culture  stencils  street  design  via:javierarbona  tcsnmy  glvo 
may 2010 by robertogreco
A Love Letter For You
"Love Letter is a project by Stephen Powers with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program and is sponsored by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative. Generous support provided by the Brownstein Group and Septa."
stephenpowers  design  art  urban  blogs  illustration  typography  streetart  lettering  graffiti  philadelphia  street  arts  murals  tcsnmy 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Street Portrait Photo How To - Video - Wired
"Photographer Clay Enos goes from shooting super heroes on the set of Watchmen to taking street portraits of random people. He shows us how to do a street-studio portrait session with a sheet of white paper, some tape, and a camera."
photography  portraits  howto  clayenos  tutorials  street  tips 
june 2009 by robertogreco
@ PSFK's Good Ideas Salon: What are the hot ideas in mobile? | Media | guardian.co.uk
"He sees mobile as something of a super power device and described something he calls "bionic noticing" -- obsessively recording curious things he sees around him, driven by this multi-capable device in his pocket. ... "We should be an embodied person in the world rather than a disembodied finger tickling a screen walking down the street. We need to unfold and unpack the screen into the world."" ... "We need to understand the difference between location and place. Computers and mobiles are very good at location, but we describe where we are as place, where culture meets location. Our whereabouts. Pirate maps, and scribbled landmarks. As long as we still have a bit of energy and money, that's where we going."
design  mattjones  dopplr  flickr  ubicomp  embodiment  mobile  maps  location  ideas  interaction  ui  place  everyware  cities  urban  urbanism  mapping  location-aware  location-based  street  innovation  future  iphone  observation  bionicnoticing  interestingness 
february 2009 by robertogreco
BLDGBLOG: Found Sound City
"So – overlooking the fact that this would not actually be possible – you begin to fast-forward the video at 4x speed, then 8x, then 16x, then 32x – and you realize, with a collective gasp, that that droning sound in the background is not a drone at all but a piece of music played slow to the point of unrecognizability. It's Beethoven, say, or Jimi Hendrix.

Someone is playing incredibly slow music, like a kind of acoustic glacier, inside the building. It's avant-garde Muzak."
architecture  sound  music  cities  fiction  street  bldgblog 
january 2009 by robertogreco
STREET WITH A VIEW: a project by Robin Hewlett & Ben Kinsley
"Street With A View introduces fiction, both subtle and spectacular, into the doppelganger world of Google Street View. On May 3rd 2008, artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley invited the Google Inc. Street View team and residents of Pittsburgh’s Northside to collaborate on a series of tableaux along Sampsonia Way. Neighbors, and other participants from around the city, staged scenes ranging from a parade and a marathon, to a garage band practice, a seventeenth century sword fight, a heroic rescue and much more... Street View technicians captured 360-degree photographs of the street with the scenes in action and integrated the images into the Street View mapping platform. This first-ever artistic intervention in Google Street View made its debut on the web in November of 2008."
streetview  google  literature  performance  googlemaps  googlestreetview  newmedia  design  art  culture  cities  mapping  street  storytelling  maps  intervention  pittsburgh 
november 2008 by robertogreco
hitotoki : A Narrative Map of Tokyo, New York, London, Paris, Shanghai, Sofia...
"Hitotoki is an online literary project collecting stories of singular experiences tied to locations in cities worldwide."

[Update 17 July 2013: Link now redirects to Hi [http://hi.co ], so here's the Wayback link: http://web.archive.org/web/20130117051029/http://hitotoki.org/ ]
tokyo  shortstories  geography  cities  mapping  location  literature  travel  nyc  paris  sofia  shanghai  london  japan  writing  stories  maps  ethnography  storytelling  place  community  magazines  narrative  hyperlocal  street  urban  hitotoki 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Technology lessons from the Cuban Special Period - Boing Boing
"fascinating talk about technology lessons to be learned from largely technology-free Special Period in Cuban history, about the hacker culture that inspired, and about what's likely to come of it in the future as technology floods into Cuba."
street  technology  cuba  markets  economics  hacking  society  reuse  invention 
march 2008 by robertogreco
Near Future Laboratory » Sliding Friction: The Harmonious Jungle of Contemporary Cities
"Through 15 topics & 4 themes...focus lenses on sparkles generated by many frictions between ideas, practices & infrastructures that populate cities...hope to provide raw food for thoughts to consider city of future. Do we want to mitigate, or eliminate t
cities  future  julianbleecker  nicolasnova  brucesterling  space  insfrastructure  gamechanging  urban  urbanism  photography  semiotics  interface  interaction  fabiengirardin  pareidolia  signs  street  devices  computing  cloud  technology 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Helen Levitt's Photos Of Kids And Their Street Art -- Daddy Types
"Levitt also took incredible photos of kids' chalk drawings. In the Street: Chalk Drawings and Messages, New York City, 1938-1948 was only published in 1987, and the pre-TV-era works look as fresh as the surrounding cityscape looks alien and antique."
children  drawing  photography  glvo  street  urban 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Wish You Were Here! Postcards from our Awesome Future - a photoset on Flickr
"Packard Jennings and Steve Lambert asked architects, city planners, and transportation engineers, “what would you do if you didn’t have to worry about budgets, beauracracy, politics, or physics?”
design  future  futurism  illustration  images  cities  sanfrancisco  architecture  planning  urban  public  street  transportation  space  art  urbanism  packardjennings  stevelambert 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Parkour - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Parkour (sometimes abbreviated to PK) or l'art du déplacement (English: the art of displacement) is a physical activity of French origin, the aim of which is to move from point A to point B as efficiently and quickly as possible, using principally the a
parkour  sports  street  urbanism  urban 
july 2007 by robertogreco
area/code
"Big Games are large-scale, real-world games. A Big Game might involve transforming an entire city into the world's largest board game, or hundreds of players scouring the streets looking for invisible treasure, or a TV show reaching out to interact with
arg  games  play  space  urban  ubicomp  locative  location-based  gps  advertising  agency  collaboration  crowds  mobile  pervasive  street  social  reality 
june 2007 by robertogreco
Wooster Collective: Martha Cooper on Street Play
"Last week On-Point.be sat down with the legendary photographer Martha Cooper while she was in Brussels to sign her new book Street Play."
photography  nyc  streetart  street  graffiti  marthacooper  interviews 
june 2007 by robertogreco
BLDGBLOG: Great streets, campuses, and pedestrian nostalgia
"What was genuinely never discussed, though, was not the idea that we need more highways and parking lots and one-way express lanes because everyone owns a car, but that everyone owns a car because they're surrounded by highways and parking lots and one-w
architecture  culture  landscape  nostalgia  oil  space  urban  colleges  universities  street  losangeles  local  design  urbanism  cars  transportation  environment  pedestrians  us  europe  walking  bikes  pollution  public  society 
may 2007 by robertogreco
Cruel 2 B Kind - a game of benevolent assasination
"At the beginning of the game, you and a partner-in-crime are assigned a secret weapon. To onlookers, it will seem like a random act of kindness. But to a select group of other players, the seemingly benevolent gesture is a deadly maneuver that will bring
games  play  arg  social  videogames  mobile  pervasive  participatory  outdoors  networking  socialnetworks  socialsoftware  wireless  cities  community  urban  street  locative  interactive 
march 2007 by robertogreco
Theodore Watson - GRL Laser Tag Rotterdam - how to and source code
"There are a bunch of things you need to do to get Laser Tag up and running so here follows the required equipment and setup instructions. This will assume that you using windows but it will also apply for other OSs too."
art  code  opensource  graffiti  street  streetart  urban  design  diy  video  make  howto  tutorials 
february 2007 by robertogreco
F A V E L A P A I N T I N G
"In order for the lives of people living in the favelas to improve, the popular perception of their neighborhoods must improve. The core of our idea is to help this happen by painting an entire hillside favela. Not in a uniform color, but with each house
art  brasil  cities  favelas  poverty  social  illustration  installation  painting  urban  urbanism  community  design  graffiti  street  streetart  activism  brazil 
february 2007 by robertogreco
Wooster Collective: Urban Recreation from Akay and Peter
"The work that these two guys do on the street is extremely rare, in the sense that it truly goes beyond spray cans and wheatpastes to be actual architectural structures and installations."
books  streetart  street  urban  installation  architecture  space  design  art  urbanism  recreation  sweden  stockholm 
january 2007 by robertogreco
Wooster Collective: Finding Better Terminology (or Moving Beyond the Phrase "Street Art")
"...I feel like people are always trying to name a movement (or school of art) and often times it's mostly to commodify it and associate themselves with it. The magazine Juxtapoz, for instance, refers to the movement as "lowbrow art." I find this label to
words  language  art  streetart  street  linguistics  graffiti 
december 2006 by robertogreco
Wooster Collective: Found While Cleaning Out Our Inbox #3 (Thought For The Day)
"people being so wound up making 'art' at art schools, made me a bit crazy. so this was for my final presentation in photoclass, not this photo though. i took them outside to show the graffiti to them. then they had a snowfight! great i liked that."
art  streetart  street  commentary  education  glvo  schools  graffiti 
december 2006 by robertogreco
WorldChanging: Onstreet Bike Parking
"Portland is rolling out onstreet bike parking to accommodate the myriad of cyclists who need a place to stash their bikes while they work, shop, and plot to change the world."
bikes  transportation  street  urban  cities  portland  oregon 
december 2006 by robertogreco
In Congo, superstitions breed homeless children | csmonitor.com
"The number of street children in Congo's capital has swelled to around 20,000. Many have been shunned as 'witches.'"
children  africa  belief  religion  superstition  congo  street  cities 
november 2006 by robertogreco
BLDGBLOG: Automotive Ossuary
"Brazilian artist Alexandre Orion turned a São Paulo transport tunnel into a kind of graphic charnel house, lined with skulls.".."by selectively scraping off layers of black soot deposited on those walls in the short life of this orifice of modernity."
art  brasil  streetart  graffiti  street  urban  urbanism  clean  reductive  removal  brazil 
november 2006 by robertogreco
Jan Chipchase - Future Perfect: Trial, Error, Aspiration
"Train carriage canvas for aspirant graf artists. Apply your tag/artwork/visual noise from the comfort of your own sofa/school desk/bedroom. A simple lifestyle object with strongly implied intentions."
art  urban  street  graffiti  objects  paper  streetart  janchipchase 
november 2006 by robertogreco

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