Rita Santos

FCSH, NOVA University of Lisbon, Portugal; ritasantos_rato@outlook.pt


Based on Henri de Saint-Simon’s Opinions littéraires, philosophiques et industrielles (1829), the term avant-garde defines the figure of the artist as the driving force behind reform in society. In this respect, it is necessary to think about how from its values of social and ecological intervention, Lisboa Soa Festival raises a collective consciousness and brings sound art to the public space, underlining the interventive character of creative practices related to sound arts in urban areas. From an intersection of the fields of study of the festival, sound art, and sound studies, this object of study presents an interdisciplinary perspective in the discourses on sound art and environmental sustainability, making this art form a source of material and social critique. This festival is a multidisciplinary artistic event, which aims to promote exploratory projects and the relationship between artists, cultural agents, and the public, articulating values of transformation and intervention in the urban spaces of Lisbon. By bringing sound art to the public sphere, and making it accessible to diverse audiences, this festival creates a pedagogical space of awareness of acoustic ecology, based on a dynamic relationship with the public, which stimulates an ontology of sound through a cultural and artistic approach. Based on an ethnographic approach, this study intends to examine the conceptual issues associated with avant-garde art, reflected in the programming and activities developed by the Lisbon Soa Festival. By taking art beyond the boundaries of concert halls and art galleries, this festival is an example of transformation and social activism, which encourages autonomy and freedom in artistic creation. Alongside establishing democratic cultural spaces in constant renewal, this event presents sound art as a critical catalyst for societal transformations.

Keywords: Sound Art; Festivals; Avant-Garde; Public Space.


Rita Santos was born in Azeitão. She is a sound artist and researcher, working in the fields of sound art, acoustic ecology, and experimental music. With the proposal A Segunda Natureza (2022), she became a grantee of the ou.tra association and developed a sound art installation curated by out.fest- Festival Internacional de Música Exploratória do Barreiro. Currently, she is a graduate student in music sciences, ethnomusicology variant at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, with the dissertation Lisboa Soa: A festival at the crossroads between sound art, acoustic ecology, and environmental sustainability.