Sound Art Residency 2021: Juanjo Palacios & María Gaspar

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  • Thu, July 15 —
    Sat, October 30, 2021
Sound Art Residency 2021: Juanjo Palacios & María Gaspar

The Sound Art Residency organized by the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain and Experimental Sound Studio offers a unique experience for artists working in sound and experimental music.

The Sound Art Residency is conceived as a digital residency where the residents have the opportunity to research, experiment, and share knowledge and ideas. The residency aims to create a platform to enable artists from both sides of the Atlantic to extend the development of sound art and to encourage them to create new work and foster artistic collaborations.

The invited artists for the 2021 edition were Spanish artist Juanjo Palacios and Chicago-based artist Maria Gaspar.

Juanjo Palacios

Juanjo Palacios is an artist, composer and sound recordist based in Asturias, Spain. His work is committed to the act of listening and is specially focused on sound, space, and perception. In the last few years, he has carried out different production, research and educational projects related to soundscape, electroacoustic composition, social phonography and acoustics ecology. He is the creator of the Mapa Sonoru project, director of the La Escucha Atenta publishing label and co-director of the Aula de Paisaje Sonoro (Soundscape Studio) at the University of Oviedo.

His work has been shown at different institutions in Spain, Sweden, Germany or México, like the Museo Reina Sofía (Madrid), Konstapoteket (Stockholm), Instituto Cervantes (Warsaw, Berlin) and Museo Tamayo (Mexico City), among others.

María Gaspar

Maria Gaspar is an interdisciplinary artist negotiating the politics of location through installation, sculpture, sound, and performance. Gaspar’s work addresses issues of spatial justice in order to amplify, mobilize, or divert structures of power through individual and collective gestures.

Her work spans formats and durations, including sound performances at a military site in New Haven (Sounds for Liberation); long-term public art interventions at the largest jail in the country (96 Acres Project, Chicago); appropriations of museum archives (Brown Brilliance Darkness Matter); and audio-video works, documenting a jail located in her childhood neighborhood (On the Border of What is Formless and Monstrous).

She is Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, holds an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

En Construcción (Under construction)

En Construcción is a sound piece created by Juanjo Palacios as the result of the Sound Art Residency.

En Construcción by Juanjo Palacios

En construcción is a sound piece composed from acoustic recordings which were made during the construction of a stormwater tank in Gijón, Spain. Stormwater tanks are designed to collect water from rain, especially during heavy rainfall events, thus minimizing the risk of flooding. They also prevent the first flush of rainwater, which is the most polluting, from being dumped directly into rivers or streams.

Based on contemporary art practices, this piece goes beyond the noise associated with this kind of infrastructure to convey the richness and diversity of the sounds generated during the construction work of such structures. This piece aims to highlight the value of industrial sound heritage, which is often undervalued and sometimes altogether ignored. It also seeks to emphasize the importance of listening as a tool to better understand our environment.

Juanjo Palacios would like to thank Empresa Municipal de Aguas of Gijón and Acciona for their support.


Palimpset is a sound piece created by María Gaspar as the result of the Sound Art Residency.

Palimpsest by María Gaspar

In Palimpsest, Gaspar collects carceral debris including iron bars from Chicago’s Cook County Department of Corrections during the demolition of Division I that took place for several months in 2021. Located in her childhood neighborhood, the jail has been the site of a body of work by Gaspar including the 96 Acres Project and Radioactive: Stories from Beyond the Wall.

Drawing from the work of Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Gaspar reflects on the notion of “presence” in relation to abolition practice and seeks to transform objects that hold painful histories into sonic meditations that recognize and honors the lives of system-impacted people and beyond. In Palimpsest, Gaspar records each iron bar using a contact mic to “listen” to the voices they carry and to draw out the tones of their materiality. This work is produced in residency with the Experimental Sound Studio and the Embassy of Spain.

Experimental Sound Sudio

Founded in 1986 by Dawn and Lou Mallozzi, Eric Leonardson, and Perry Venson, Experimental Sound Studio (ESS) has occupied its Edgewater location since 2006. The facility is home to a full-service recording, mixing, and mastering studio for hire; Audible Gallery, a small public space for exhibitions, meetings, workshops, performances, and artists’ projects; and the Creative Audio Archive –an invaluable collection of recordings, print, and visual ephemera related to avant-garde and exploratory sound and music of the last five decades.

ESS presents eclectic performance and installation programming, workshops, and artist talks year round –both in the various spaces around the studio (including its garden) and at various partner venues around Chicago.


The Sound Art Residency is organized by the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain in Washington DC and Experimental Sound Studio



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