Night Waves

On View

Artists Opening: Friday, December 3, 5-8pm.

Brief remarks with Jason Sudak at 6:30pm


Jason Sudak

Night Waves (2021, 12 min, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Digital Video)

In the summer of 2019 I traveled to Armila, Guna Yala - an indigenous comarca in Panama, where the Darién jungle, Caribbean Sea, and Armila River intersect - with no agenda but to listen. I preferred to go out with my sound recording gear before dawn, or after dusk, when the visually overwhelming jungle vanished into dark expanses of sound. I squandered a week tracking a bird which performed an uncanny imitation of dripping water, never managing a clean recording. Sometimes, I swam in the river at night and let it carry me into the sea.

As Nacho and I paddled up the river one morning to harvest some yuca, he regaled me with a story he thought I might appreciate: a story about his experiences of listening alone in the night. His tale of sounds unseen is full of humor and onomatopoeia, deftly describing a listener’s unsteady oscillations between hearing and thinking. In Nacho’s telling, these ever-shifting modes of listening can upset fixed understandings of self and world, entangling auditors in dynamic relationships of resonance. I wish for this presentation of Nacho’s story, accompanied by my field recordings, to be considered a collaboration in listening.


Night Waves is generously supported by the Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship. Duke’s MFA in Experimental and Documentary and Center for Documentary Studies are proud to present the work at the Power Plant Gallery.