Joelle Estelle Mendoza

Joelle Estelle Mendoza

Joelle Estelle Mendoza is a writer and creator based in Tovaangar / East Los Angeles. Working with ceramics, JEM explores performance and storytelling using community engagement. For JEM, community based organizing and activism includes writing and art practice. JEM has worked on public art commissions and currently, teaching writing in the South Bay. This project is the intersection of breath, ceramic instrument and activation of community.

Artist Location: East Los Angeles, CA

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Resilience Ensemble

Proposed work as accepted for soundpedro 2021:
Resilience Ensemble
This project is a direct response to global pandemic, COVID-19, which specifically attacks the lungs, and to Black Lives Matter Movement, which carried the cries of Eric Garner and George Floyd’s “I can’t breathe,” into a catalyst for change. Breathwork and breath awareness can provide insight to the interior landscape of the body and can offer profound clarity. These ceramic instruments are hand tools designed to intersect one’s breathing carried through earth/clay, within space and place. 

Carving survivance from earth; clay can provide an instrument of sound. This work uses breath to activate and be amplified by earth/clay. This form cultivates a relationship to space – a space for breath to create sound, and sound to forge listening.

I imagine these clay whistles/flutes to extend and transcend outside of language as we know it. To craft and create space for our breath is to shape a sonic full bodily experience and exchange. Our past, present, future not time frames of existence in isolation – wavelengths of exchange are in constant flow – we need to learn how to refine our listening and relationship to space/earth.

The video and audio, provides a weaving of individual community artists throughout Gabrieleno/Tongva, (Los Angeles) area, who participated in activating and playing the instruments. Then, I compiled individual recordings and wove together various musical arrangements.

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