immersive ambisonic multichannel installation
ongoing project series, duration and dimensions variable

PHONOCENE ~ SPECTRAL AFFECTS investigates the fascinating vitality of non-human life forms’ voices and sonic expressions. The sound-spatial composition is created from sound materials that originated during intensive fieldwork in Brazilian Amazonian territories, altered and transformed through digital tools and processes. The composition process is guided by principles of spectral co-existence in the dimensions of frequency, time and space. The installation facilitates a space-time of shared experience, encouraging listening as a creative practice, of attention and as a political act. Through the affectivity of listening, the project seeks to promote less anthropocentric ways of being and thinking and to cultivate a sensory ecological sensibility that allows for attunement to realities beyond the human.


“Phonocene” is the era of sound, the era where we hear the sounds of the earth, the era which connects us to the power of sound. Donna Haraway introduced the notion of “Phonocene” as an alternative to the Anthropocene buzzword. She says: “I wanted the ear to hear the sound of the terrestrial, of all that is related to the Earth, including the atmosphere. I wanted to say that we are connected to a myriad of temporalities and spatialities, related to the unfixed past, present and future… I wanted us to be connected with the powers of the phonic ones.” Following Haraway, philosopher and ethologist Vinciane Despret wonders what it might mean to inhabit the Phonocene. She talks about “trusting in the world’s musicality (and its rumblings)” and learning from them. The beginning of a hopeful Phonocene epoch that implies giving attention to the voices of the planet.



Etopia, Zaragoza, ES – 27-28-29 april 2023
22-channel audio, 43 min (∞), immersive ambisonic installation


«voces sin rostro hacen vibrar: con PHONOCENE ~ SPECTRAL AFFECTS de pablo sanz», Susana Jimenez Carmona, 2023 → (download/descarga PDF) (castellano/spanish – english translation coming soon)


Project developed in residency at Etopia Center for Art and Technology, Zaragoza, january-april 2023, with the support of Laboratorios de Innovación Abierta (LIA), Fundación Zaragoza Ciudad del Conocimiento (FZC), and Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza. With thanks to: Santiago Latorre, Nieves Arilla, Blanca Pérez, Manuel Rosel, David Lizarazo, Etopia team and staff, Susana Jimenez Carmona and Palma E. Christian.

Fieldwork and production support: Mamirauá Institute (Tefé, Amazonas), Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), Queen’s University Belfast, Fundación Banco Santander, Laboratory of Acoustics and Sonic Arts (LASom), Instituto de Artes, UNICAMP (Campinas, São Paulo), Arts Council of Northern Ireland (ACNI).


sintonizar con los sonidos de la tierra«, Mercedes Penacho. Etopia´s blog, 15.05.2023