João Polido: Hearing Smoke: An Acoustic Ripple


Thesis Advisor: Ana Teixeira Pinto

Thesis: Hearing Smoke: An Acoustic Ripple

September 2022


Throughout this thesis, I will attempt to survey the resonances of a set of practices and policies that were applied to music and sound concerning the (re)production of cultural memory and the effects and echoes of the cultural politics enacted by Portugal’s fascist regime Estado Novo (1933-1974). Establishing an ontological ground on questions of perception, the produced dichotomies of Nature and Culture, and the fixation of memory models, will serve as a guiding compass through the material and immaterial implications of cultural policy engineered in the early 30’s in Portugal. The thesis follows along the development of this legislation and the creation of patrimonial machines it engenders (both national and supranational), the enduring iterations of folklore and a logic of tourism and cultural capital (market of authenticity) applied to traditional musical practices. Lastly, a description and analysis of a recent sound installation work Replica Song will attempt to transfer and apply the former concerns on the conservation and production of culture (and memory) to contemporary questions on audio and music production tools, and their inherent ambivalence—in reproducing an enduring model of recognition/feedback or a liberatory, counter-hegemonic form of resistance.

Author: João Polido