Tag Archives: Toni Calderón

Little Bells of Valencia, Spain (Campanillas de Valencia)

Ima Picó

Meet Ima Picó, a visual artist and digital muralist who was born and raised in Valencia, Spain but who’s now based in Manchester, UK. She also has two blogs–her own, and one called blackduck. Ima curated and coordinated the Spanish work in the Transfer Lounge show in Valencia (along with Toni Calderón). The day I met her, the US curator and I had headed over to the gallery space at Forja ArteContemporáneo to begin installing the show. The day after I met Ima, she brought this bell to Forja, and began to help connect me to other Valencians who would contribute ringtones to the project. I am so grateful to her for being a special Locally Toned ringtone agent in Valencia!

I was delighted when Ima told me she was ready to make a tone immediately. She produced this little bell, and explained that numerous people (especially little children) ring these bells the second Sunday every year for the veneration/festival of Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados (Our Lady of the Forsaken or Homeless). The Señora is the patron saint of Valencia, and as I read elsewhere, she was originally the patron saint of a 15th-century society dedicated to the care of the homeless and mentally ill in Valencia.

Here’s Ima’s Campanilla (Little Bell) Tone.


The next day I met Ima’s friend Sonia, who lives in Valencia and works as a costume supervisor for films and publicity shoots. She brought two beautiful antique campanillas with her to turn into ringtones.



This antique bell belonged to Sonia's abuela (grandmother).

This antique bell belonged to Sonia's abuela (grandmother).


Here ‘s Sonia’s Dama (Lady) Campanilla (Bell) Tone, and her Numero 3 Campanilla (Little Bell) Tone (if you look closely at the above picture, this bell is stamped with the no. 3).

Our Lady of the Basilica (La Senora de los Santos Inocentes Martires y Desamparados)

Patron Saint of Valencia venerated each May: Our Lady of the Basilica (La Senora de los Santos Inocentes Martires y Desamparados)

The Basilica from the Plaza

View of the Basilica from the Plaza de la Virgen

Thanks very much to Ima and Sonia for this gentle answer to the question, What does Valencia sound like? You’ll be reading more about them (and our ringtone-making shenanigans) in the next post!

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Performing Tones in Valencia, Spain at Forja ArteContemporáneo

No puedo hablar mucho Espanol, but I can point out tones to play from my tone menu (the apron)!

No puedo hablar mucho Espanol, but I can point out tones to play for people from my tone menu (the apron)!

Last night was the opening of the Transfer Lounge show at Forja ArteContemporáneo in Valencia where I performed Pittsburgh ringtones. The event was well-attended even though a couple of torrential downpours fell throughout the evening. Since I speak very simple Spanish, I felt a little bit shy approaching gallery visitors as I would in Los Estados Unidos. I switched up my approach a bit–I  walked around the space, playing/amplifying tones and drew attention to the project sin palabras (without words). I then visited with folks en Espanol when they stopped by my table to pick up some of the art cards. One major advantage to come from the experience of performing ringtones in Spain is the opportoneity to think about using my body to perform the tones (rather than just rely upon my brain/ language-center). Wow, I thought this morning–Note to Self: traveling to other places can help to inform and expand an artist’s practice and approach.

The event was catered by Absolut (what a great promotional idea for Absolut, and a help to artists and artist-run organizations!). I wondered if this sort of sponsorship from the company is accessible to artists’ organizations back home.

Absolut Bartenders at the Forja Opening (photo by Carolina Loyola Garcia)

Absolut Bartenders at the Forja Opening (photo by Carolina Loyola Garcia)

Although I didn’t have time to look carefully at all the artists’ work included in the exhibition, I spent a good deal of time last night being riveted by pieces from Christina Ghetti, Filippos Tsitsopoulos and Ima Picó–I can’t wait for Pittsburgh to see their work. I’ll be writing more about Ima Pico as her help capturing and identifying Valencian tones was a tremendous contribution to the project.

Ghetti's Installation at Forja

Ghetti's Installation at Forja

Video work by Fillippo

Video work by Fillippo

Co-curator Pico Standing near Her Own Work

Co-curator Pico Standing near Her Own Work

Another highlight of the show para mi, was a visit from Consulor Agent Dr. David Nordlund from the United States Department of State in Valencia.


Foley, Nordlund y Loyola-Garcia

Carolina y yo were delighted to have a visit from Dr. Nordlund!  He took some pictures of the show but also took the time to visit with us (me, Carolina and Ima) about our work, Forja and the arts in general in Valencia. He even suggested that a return visit from Locally Toned might be an interesting idea (such as making Valencian tones during las Fallas?!). That would be fabulous! From what everybody tells me here about las Fallas (a week-long fiesta that runs in March of each year), that is certainly what Valencia sounds like.

Here are the photographic art cards from Pittsburgh that I took to the show. Hey, Caleb, HHOL, Peyton, horsies of Indiana, Erok, the Kennywood Merry-Go-Round, Bhante Maithrie, Coqui, and Stu, didja all know you came to Spain with me?

Photo 231

Photo 232

Photo 233

Photo 234

Photo 235

Because I don’t have tone distribution for mobile phone companies that operate in Spain, I came up with the clever idea (with Curator Loyola-Garcia’s help) of pasting [shortened] mp3 URLs on the backs of the cards so folks could easily access the audio files to download the tones to their European phones.


These last photos are documentation of performative moments taken by Ima’s friend Sonia (and Valencian ringtone contributor). Thanks for including my work in the show, Carolina, and thanks Ima and to Forja’s Toni Calderón for their help and hospitality!

carolina y yo



Sometimes a ringtone sounds so good, you have to close your eyes and listen.


Filed under Locally Toned (all posts), Project Updates

Locally Toned Travels to Valencia, Spain


I arrived in Valencia, Spain yesterday (Woo-Hoo!) where I’ll do a ringtone performance at the opening of the Transfer Lounge exhibition I’m part of at Forja ArteContemporáneo, Valencia, the 17th of September 2009 at 8pm. The show’s been curated by Pittsburgh’s Carolina Loyola Garcia, and the Spanish part of the project has been curated/coordinated by Toni Calderon and Ima Pico of Valencia.
The card I’m holding here has “YOU SHOULD BE A RINGTONE” on one side and the Locally Toned project description on another. I speak a little Spanish, but mostly *Mexican* Spanish and in the present tense, so I thought this little card might be useful when I’m approaching strangers and am hoping to capture Valencian tones.

I brought 10 Pittsburgh ringtones with me to Valencia (a brand new art card series!), and I’ll (hopefully) bring 10 Valencian ringtones back to Pittsburgh (where the show will run at SPACE Gallery from October 2nd-17th of November). I’ll be sure to post the new series of Pittsburgh cards later.

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Filed under Locally Toned (all posts), Project Updates