Skip to content

The Eternal Return: pre-historic interactions

Collective consciousness through the sound experience

Credit: Critical Playground

The Eternal Return is an art installation that seeks to impact on the private and collective imaginary using 3D impressions from pre-Hispanic musical instruments that are “played” again by the wind with technological assistance. The intention is to hear random interpretations of someone else’s past. This process makes us wonder about how we understand time and, as in the paradox of Theseus’ ship, whether we can confirm that the sound is the same if the body changes?

Credit: Critical Playground

In the first instance, The Eternal Return, pre-Hispanic Interactions project revisits a real everyday aspect of pre-Hispanic Peru: sound. For this purpose, replicas of musical instruments discovered in different archaeological explorations are used and integrated into a musical, interactive, and incidental installation.

In this second instance, the project seeks to re-access and re-imagine the pre-Hispanic pieces found in different collections around the world, in order to fill in some of the gaps in our history knowledge of this period. The installation aims to unveil a collective consciousness through the sound experience.

Credit: Critical Playground

The process begins with the collaboration of institutions in the loan of pre-Hispanic pieces from their collections. These go through a tomographic examination to make an internal and external map of them. These are then printed in a 3D material that has clay-like qualities. Then these pieces are connected to a pneumatic system that injects pressurized air into each of them randomly, following data collected from the wind. At the same time, we used a tower with the sensors to capture the wind data, high enough to avoid any obstacles that could alter the quality. This data is then sent to an Arduino plate that interpetrates the information, the plate is also connected to an pneumatic system that will introduce pressurized air into the system. In the end, some solenoid valves open and close giving way to the air that “blows” the replicas producing sound.

Cristhian Avila (PE), (b. Lima, 1982) is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Lima, Peru. Second place winner in the Photography category of Maravillarte 2022. IRRADIA 2020 award winner, organized by MALI (Lima Art Museum) and Fundación Telefónica del Perú. He has been part of the exhibits: En busca de algo perdido…Perú un sueño, MUNA 2021, Otra Feria, Lima + Santiago (2021), Dos Generaciones, Centro Cultural Británico drawing contest, Lima, 2021, Bellas Artes: Voz y huella de los egresados (1918-2018), Lima, 2018, Ojo Andino Perú, Venice, 2016, among others.

With support from: Museo de Arte de Lima, MALI; Fundación Telefónica del Perú; Clínica Javier Prado; Resocentro; 3D Rey; Municipalidad de Lima; Museo Central de Reserva, MUCEN; Colección Cohen; G&L ingenieros Corporación; Red Animation Studio