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CoCA Lab: plex-us by La Sala

CoCA Lab: plex-us by La Sala


This exhibition is now closed. Please enjoy the original soundscape by Jovino Santos Neto.



Michelle de la Vega and Jovino Santos Neto

CoCA is proud to announce that the next CoCA Lab will be a partnership with La Sala, an initiative to coalesce and mobilize the Latino/Latina arts community.

Residency: October 1, 2014
Exhibition Closes: January 9, 2015. Open M-F 10a-4p CoCA Georgetown

Beginning October 1, 2014, composer Jovino Santos Neto and visual artist Michelle de la Vega collaborated to create a large-scale sculpture and sound installation entitled plex∙ us which focuses on the unique economic, cultural and environmental strengths and challenges of the communities around CoCA.


plex∙us is a large scale sculpture and sound installation created by visual artist Michelle de la Vega in collaboration with composer Jovino Santos Neto. The piece is inspired by the environment, languages, and cultures of Seattle's South Park neighborhood.

The installation combines recorded voices from the South Park community with music and artwork created by neighborhood engagement labs in the Duwamish River area.

Through sculpture and sound, the project explores several types of plexuses (networks) that relate to the area, such as the plexus of a fishing net, the plexus of a community of people, neighborhood streets, natural ecosystems, and the plexus that travels through time embodied by the heritage of people and of place.

Included in the exhibition is artwork created by 115 Chief Sealth High School art students from a workshop conducted by artist Michelle de la Vega in which the students explored their personal sense of place as related to their neighborhoods and their classroom community. These concepts were examined through a process of writing, drawing, sculpture, and collage.

Exhibition Closes Friday, January 9
5701 6th Ave S | Seattle Design Center, Suite P258 | 98108
Free admission and parking. Gallery hours: Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm


Thank you

plex∙us is generously supported by 4Culture, City of Seattle’s Department of NeighborhoodsThe Seattle FoundationCornish College of the Arts. In partnership with Marra Farm



Jovino Santos Neto

I am very grateful to everyone who has made this project a reality. First and foremost, my artistic partner in, Michelle de la Vega. It has been a joy collaborating with her throughout the whole process. We were in total synchrony of ideas, from the initial concepts to the final stages of fabrication and installation. I wish every artistic partnership would be this easy.

Irene Gomez, Miguel Guillén and the whole team at La Sala for initiating the idea that connected me to Michelle and for coordinating the complex logistics of the grants that allowed us to do this.

Many thanks to my wife Luzia Grob dos Santos, who was involved in documenting each stage of the project and in providing essential aesthetic advice.

Very special thanks to Kyong Soh from Marra Farm, for introducing me to so many people from the South Park community who let me record their voices. Kyong was always very open and receptive, and because of her, the human sounds of South Park, along with other environmental sonorities (water, wind, airplanes, cars) became the core of the whole musical component of

Thanks to James Rasmussen from the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition for his inspiring talk to the community at Marra Farm back in June, from which I extracted many samples of sounds for my music tracks.

Also, special thanks go to Ruby Fontillea, Education & Leadership Coordinator at Concord International School. It was a pleasure to work with their young students and to share musical ideas with them. I was touched by their celebration of Brazilian culture in my honor.

Special thanks to Cornish students Thomas Reyna, who played some beautiful flute sounds, and to Will Smith, who designed the hardware and software foundation for the music setup in the CoCA Gallery space.

Thanks to Nichole DeMent and all the staff at CoCA for giving a home where it will live for several weeks.

What I tried to do here was to translate the multicultural landscape of South Park into music. I was inspired by the many languages spoken in this neighborhood, and also by the sounds of the Duwamish River, the airplanes flying overhead, the industries. I added piano, keyboards, flutes, and lots of sound textures to create the music that is embedded inside Michelle’s delicate and powerful sculptures. I hope that this installation will inspire everyone to listen more closely to his or her surroundings and to be more aware of the environment we live in.

About CoCA Lab: Artists in Residence

CoCA Lab provides individual artists or artist teams the opportunity to transform our current 5,000 square foot gallery in Georgetown into a living art laboratory. Artists are invited by CoCA curators and have included filmmaker Adam Sekuler, visual artist Alan Fulle, and installation artist Celeste Cooning since its inception in April 2014.


Earlier Event: August 21
CoCA Lab: Celeste Cooning
Later Event: November 21
Art. A. Fact