Abuela's Living Room
UNDERGRADUATE THESIS PROJECT
Abuela’s Living Room explores the relationship between music and memory within immigrant communities and the ways in which sound can trigger feelings of nostalgia, belonging, and joy. You are invited into my grandmother’s living room, where my own memories are stored and relived through the experience of salsa music.
Pop-Up Records - Three particular records stood out from my childhood and were important to the development of salsa as a genre of music. Taking imagery from live performances for the interior pop-ups, I created a composition that would allow the viewer to understand the tone of the record without having to listen to it, and to hint at the curiosity a child would have looking at them. In my grandmother's house growing up, I would be very curious and look at the covers of these records and create a world in my mind based on the imagery.
Cassette Tapes - It was important to include differing immigration narratives for this project, and create a space for sharing other people's experiences. I interviewed friends who immigrated from many parts of the world, and they provided the music which connected them to their home country. They were recorded onto cassette tapes with their own unique pattern design on them, allowing their stories and music to live on in their own unique space.
Salsa Dancing (5min 58sec) - A hugely important part of the memories of salsa in my childhood revolve around dancing. This video represents the vulnerable moments dancing with my dad, as well as dancing alone, both scenarios when my mind transports to parties and gatherings with my family.
Additional Outcomes - To compliment the print and digital outcomes, a wallpaper was created to physically distinguish the space this installation would take up. It was inspired by Tiffany lamps my grandmother had in her house in Caracas, Venezuela growing up, as well as her love for bright warm colours and flowers.
A custom sideboard was also created to house the components of the installation. It was designed in collaboration with Daniel Antonucci, and built by Daniel Antonucci and Jasmin Liu.