During the second session of the Laboratorios del Área de Cultura del Ayuntamiento de Madrid in 2016, a great glass root was painted to summarize the conclusions of the various group works. At that time, I asked myself: is there a more accurate organicist metaphor for the reality of artistic communities?

And then I thought of reefs. And, as if by a stroke of magic, an article by Smithsonian Insider bounced one day into my to-read pile. The article explained that: “Healthy reefs, with more fish and corals, generate, as expected, greater levels of noise […] Different from what Jacques Cousteau labeled “a silent world,” coral reefs are surprisingly noisy places, with fish and invertebrates producing cracking and grunting sounds which, in their combination, beget a cacophony of rumors. The sound of each reef is, thus, subtly different by virtue of their size and the composition of the community that resides in it.” One could say, drawing from this quotation, that a noisy reef is a healthy reef. Moreover, that each reef is different depending on the community that populates it. Keeping these two ideas in mind, and in an attempt to materialize two questions (can we take the pulse of a community through listening? and, how can we do this from a position such as the curator, who from its very name seems to dedicate themselves to dictating rather than listening?), the idea of Arrecife [Reef] came into being.

Arrecife [Reef] was a cycle of concerts that took place between September 2016 and July 2017. It was a monthly event where a variety of collectives or agents from Madrid presented their trajectories and invited a representative figure, be it for them or the city, to give a concert. In doing so, and without attempting to solidify any musical definition, the objective of Arrecife was to give a voice to the work not only of their participants but of their associates: their community, their own reef. Thus, the collective La rueda de Madrid introduced us to Nelda Piña, Grupal Crew Collective showcased their activity through a video and passed the baton to Chin Stroke, Katarina Gurska spoke of her PhD and sought Trevor Wishart, Abysmal made a brief video manifesto and then invited ALPHACOM…

This use of organicist metaphors, though rather experimental and no longer in use, was the precedent to the festival that I began to curate in 2017, Archipiélago [Archipelago].