mantras

This piece borrows from a radio show from this american life, which you can find referenced earlier in my blog https://kmgurung.art/2008/06/02/sounding-out-the-city/  and the work of  Taniel Morales and his work with pirate radio and sounds of Mexico city https://kmgurung.art/2011/01/14/pirate-radio-show-sin-cabeza-by-taniel-morales-of-mexico-city/ .

Everyday the people who transport by way of public transportation in Mexico City are exposed to venders selling their products. They sell things to survive. Each has a set dialogue they remember and repeat at least I would estimate 200 times or more a day. They sing this information, to preserve their voice. It is a tone and cadence that is unique to Mexico City, and everyone uses it. I had this small recorder for another project I’m working on, with young artists in DF. Each time I ride the metro I’m entertained and sometimes annoyed, but nonetheless I’m always thinking about these venders as they make their presence known through sound a medium that is very intrusive. I think about this job, and although I’m referring specifically, in my recording, to the metro, this job exists in markets and on the street alike, in almost every small and dark corner of DF something is struggling to be sold. This job is common and in many senses demeaning, as the venders by way of their voice transform from people to machines, doing a job, but using their bodies to sell the product. They are used. They are more or less consumed by this roll, and this unnatural song, while the public becomes more overexposed to its melody, it sometimes becomes immune and apathetic to the vender and to the person. Maybe this is too harsh a judgement. People do buy from them and sometimes it is a convenience and every could be thought of a luxury to be offered these products while you are in transit, while you have nothing else to entertain you or steal your attention away from the awkwardness of proximity to strangers and their gazes.

I hope that this collection of sounds of daily reality in Mexico City public transport reveals the perverse and reverent relationship society has with the act of buying, the material and the system of capitalism. This mantra and its omnipresence has shaped our human voices and our human interactions so much that I wonder what is it that we are seeking in life?

Click on the link to listen:

Mantras del Capitalismo