In Chinampa (let the water lose its still form) Diana Policarpo built an artificial island of sounds, textures and directions. Located above the Mãe d’ Água das Amoreiras, where the water from its reservoir fed the city in the past and the sounds that accompanied its journey returned circularly to the island, to the reservoir’s tank. Currently in disuse, the basin is still, populated by its own echoes.

Policarpo’s sound composition was based on field-recordings on site that followed the sound as it moves around both natural shapes and surfaces of the internal architecture of Mãe d’Água, where the liquid takes the shape of its surroundings. Chinampa (let the water lose its still form) places the building and the water tank as a starting point and captures audible and inaudible frequencies—the sounds of water and the pause inside—transposed to the building’s arid terrace. The piece transformed the tank’s reverberations, prolonged and thickened them into a haunting texture of space and lost movement. Taking the perspective of water, Policarpo used sonic overlays to build a “floating garden” in the open air and proposed an insular body with the illusion of volume and movement.


Photos Vera Marmelo. Sound recording Mestre André.