Not Peaceable and Quite 


The title of this performance is taken from the 1855 California Vagrancy Act, a so-called race-neutral piece of legislation that attempted to frame Mexican Americans (a relatively new identity in the mid-nineteenth century) as loiters and idlers, as not peaceable and quite persons. This research-based performance, made in collaboration with Anthony Romero and Matt Joynt, examines normalized associations between criminality, sound, and coloniality, with special attention given to notions of silencing as a form of social control and voicing as a form of social resistance. How does noise come to be defined? Under what conditions are certain definitions of noise mobilized to maintain authority over marginalized communities? How is sound racialized? As an investigation into the politics of sound, US-Mexico relations, and questions of indigeneity, Not Peaceable and Quite contests institutionalized epistemologies by placing scholarly and academic writing on sound in proximity to experimental noise performance, ficto-criticism, and poetic recitation, redefining what kinds of auditory experiences are understood as acceptable and what kinds are understood as antagonistic, especially in the struggle over political, economic, and social equity.

Not Peaceable and Quite was made possible by The Boston Foundation's Boston Live Arts Grant and was initially performed at the Mountain Standard Time Performative Art Festival (MST) in Calgary, AB, Canada. A version was also performed at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston. In addition, the performance was made possible by the Poor Farm as part of The Working Group for Unmaking, by ACRE, and by the recording studio Rough Harmony. The performance project was also made possible as a result of research conducted for the panel "Latinx Sounds: Auditory Technologies of Resistance and Aural Practices of Social Transformation," which was selected by the US Latinx Art Forum for the 2019 College Art Association symposium.

Below is documentation of several iterations, relevant research, and related texts.