EXPECTATIONS: Sound in Collaboration

 

This project is part of DRØME's latest series on Expectations. We asked our readers to submit work that considers the expectations — set by themselves, institutions, or others — that have shaped their identity. Read our full call for submissions here and catch more from the series in the coming weeks!

 

Sound collages and text by Colleen Daly
Cover image by
Paulina Lagüera

My work is about inclusion and intimacy. The things we do together and the subtle impacts of collaboration. Sometimes I think of myself more as a curator than an artist because my process is more about rearranging content than creating it — although you could also say that in rearranging I am creating.

I like my work to play with the fuzzy sort of overwhelming feelings of happiness and self-worth when we are a part of something other than our day-to-day. There is a really cool weirdness in hearing your own voice that triggers both revulsion and attraction — like hearing your voicemail greeting and thinking, “why do I sound like that?” at the same time as thinking, “that is exactly what I sound like.” I like how that weirdness becomes even more powerful when you hear the similarities of your thoughts and experiences amidst a chorus of others, which is what I try and create with my collages. Something that, in a small way, applauds and corroborates our own narratives in a world where the stories we are associated with are so often out of our control.  

Originally I did all of my work with my artistic partner Paulina Lagüera. Artistic togetherness became the object of our exploration as we thought about how to use sound as a form to resist and reshape traditional forms of relationships to better fit queer friendship and community. We called it collaboration as cohabitation. Those early projects were compilations of things we recorded together. Recently, a lot of my collaborations have been remote with people sending in recordings based on prompts I present. I like to think the pieces allow myself and my contributors to anchor themselves in a presence sometimes forgotten and I hope that people hear some kind of other world in the ways the collages unfold. Ultimately, whether in person or not, the act of listening is more about privileging the process than the outcome and that’s always my goal.