Developing Uruguay : Switzerland of America?

1. November 2013 – Kunsthalle Luzern, Switzerland

In my work ‘Developing Uruguay : the Switzerland of South America?’ I explore and questions positivist notions of ‘development’ through an investigation of the serious problem of noise pollution caused by traffic in Switzerland today.

When recently moved to Switzerland, I was surprised by the highly developed nature. Having imagined it to be rural and quaint, I discovered it to not only have big cities and industry, but also especially traffic! Living in Ottenbach, a village outside of Zurich, I realized that the roar of traffic can even be heard when taking a walk in the forest.  The Ottenbach community is itself plagued by traffic and recently approved the construction of the new major A4 highway in the vicinity of a protected nature reserve.

Often referred to as ‘the Switzerland of South America’ in my own country the problems of development – urban sprawl, noise pollution – are just emerging. As many claim that ‘it comes to Uruguay 30 years later’ I envision the Switzerland of today as representing the state of Uruguay in the year 2043.

Recording and exploring noise pollution from highways, trains and tunnels this artistic work also entailed live performance of the sounds using my own body, as well as an investigation of Swiss national remedial measures and public debates to formulate my own position and raise questions concerning the future in ‘developing’ Uruguay.