Pungwe Sound Trails is part of Ecoficitions and Understories


Nov 09 2023


6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Pungwe Sound Trails: Performances by Rob Machiri


November 9, 2023


POST HTX with the Houston Climate Justice Museum

Exhibition Details

Pungwe Sound Trails: Performances by Rob Machiri

Harare-born, Berlin-based artist Rob Machiri performs a Houston iteration of sonic movements and archival recordings from the ongoing project Pungwe Sound Trails. Machiri’s practice of Pungwe is conceived as a series of ephemeral encounters that explore relationships between people, history, and memory through intersections of sound and spatial politics. Pungwe engages with social, political and economic concerns that are performative and sonic, and centers on sounds from communities affected by the intersections of colonialism, climate change, and migration globally—from Harare to Berlin to Houston.

Pungwe Sound Trails disseminates sound materials through auditory performances with critical consideration of spaces and locations within which they are found. The methodology of this project is built on itinerant aspects of ‘tracking the sonic’, which involve digging archives, listening sessions and location sound walks and recordings. As an interventional project, Pungwe Sound Trails aims to reorientate sonic archival practices. It reconsiders how archival practices in sound studies are co-opted as a political tool, how sound in general assists at producing new memories of geography and belonging.

Pungwe Sound Trails is part of Ecoficitions and Understories, a city-responsive curatorial program curated by Erika Mei Chua Holum, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Assistant Curator at the Blaffer Art Museum and supported by the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, to speculate potential worlds for gathering, resisting, regeneration, and disruption persistent in artistic responses, organizing, and actions. The program connects practices of ecological and cultural safe-keeping through community organizing, sonic semiotics, and south-south relationality.

Pungwe Sound Trails is presented at the Houston Climate Justice Museum in conjunction with Climate Migration: Displacement, Travel, Home, a series of art installations, expert panels, and public engagements that aim to deepen understanding and experiences of climate migration in Houston.

About the artist

Robert ‘Chi’ Machiri born in 1978, in Zimbabwe. Machiri is a ‘sound worker’, a DJ and hoarder of things inspired by his biographical recollection of music and interest in sonic objects. His work exists at the juncture of two streams of practice, curatorial projects and art production presented through an embodied critique; a process of learning and unlearning that interweaves sound, music and image-making. His most notable project PUNGWE is an ‘anti-disciplinary’ project that circles African soundings with related contemporary arts discourses and spaces.

About the Houston Climate Justice Museum and Cultural Center

The Houston Climate Justice Museum & Cultural Center’s mission is to educate and inspire transformative action on climate and environmental issues through art, exhibits, and programs. HCJM functions as an adaptable space for creative collaboration and collective visioning and aims to shift traditional museum narratives. The museum works alongside artists and community leaders to share stories that foster opportunities for more equal well-being within a world of environmental challenges.