Subtropics Organization
with support from Knight Foundation
ArtCenter/South Florida [ Oolite Arts ]
Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs
City of Miami Beach
Blank Family Foundation

An unprecedented eight-year-long partnership between Subtropics Organization and ArtCenter South Florida draws to a close with the culmination of the experimental first phase of Gustavo Matamoros’ Knight Arts Challenge 2017-18 project Audiotheque 2.0 administered by SUBTROPICS.ORG


In 2010, ArtCenter South Florida commissioned sound artist Gustavo Matamoros to create a sound installation project for the facade of its iconic 800 Lincoln Road building.  Matamoros proposed a partnership between AC/SF and Subtropics Organization [ a.k.a. South Florida Composers Alliance – SFCA ]  to turn the commission into a community sound art laboratory for experimenting with the function sound art in the context of public space. That is how the Listening Gallery was born.

To solidify this relationship and implement this project, SUBTROPICS.ORG raised $150,000 for the first two years from sources that included Knight Foundation ( KAC 2010 ), The State of Florida’s Culture Build Florida program, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and The City of Miami Beach. 

The Listening Gallery opened in November 2011 during Miami Beach’s Sleepless Knight and ran non-stop, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until the summer of 2015 when having sold the building for a record amount of $88,000,000, ArtCenter became the richest nonprofit organization in South Florida.

Gustavo Matamoros ran the Listening Gallery from his ArtCenter studio at 924 Lincoln Road—a block and a half away—creating his own installations and collaborating with other sound artists on content for what became one of the most unique projects in our community having an impact on millions of Miami Beach residents and visitors. 

Inspired by the characteristics of his new studio space, in 2012 Matamoros proposed to Maria Del Valle — then Director of ACSF — to organize public events of experimental music and sound art out of his studio in collaboration with Subtropics Organization, and Audiotheque was born. 

Audiotheque has been since then another of Matamoros’ experiments in his quest for understanding how to best present experimental music and sound art. Administered by Subtropics Organization, Audiotheque began by presenting local and regional experimental musicians and sound artists. As artistic director, Matamoros also established a series of listening sessions under the label Listening Club

When the Listening Gallery concluded, Subtropics Organization’s relationship with ArtCenter continued through Audiotheque and in the summer of 2017 with the co-presentation of the 24th Subtropics Experimental Music and Sound Art Festival.

By then, our proposal to Knight Foundation to implement a creative sound art multichannel project by Gustavo Matamoros had been submitted. In December 2017 Knight Foundation announced a $40,000 Knight Arts Challenge award to Subtropics Organization to administer Gustavo Matamoros’ proposal for Audiotheque 2.0.   This time SFCA was able to match the $40K within two months with generous financial assistance from ArtCenter South Florida, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the City of Miami Beach and the Blank Family Foundation.

Equipped with 30 channels of discrete point source sound featuring remarkable acoustics and a four part sound art work by Matamoros, Audiotheque 2.0 opened to the public September 13, 2018, successfully completing the programs funded by Knight. Audiotheque 2.0 continued its programming through December 15, 2018, achieving the year and a half worth of programing in the original proposal in only three months time. New content was exhibited every weekend opening to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 1-6pm.

Experimental content for Audiotheque 2.0 was created for the project by Matamoros as explorations of the custom designed sound system and during six collaborative residencies with experimental composers and sound artists that included Julio Roloff, Rene Barge, Edward Bobb and Frank Falestra from Miami, as well as Rob Constable from Tampa and Wolfgang Gil from New Jersey.

Audiotheque 2.0 closed its doors to the public December 15, 2018 in order to make room for ArtCenter’s new Cinematic Arts Residency Program. Having successfully accomplished all of its, SFCA [isaw+subtropics] will grant Matamoros a well deserved 6 month sabbatical to focus on further research and development of his multichannel sound art ideas, explore connections for future manifestations of the Audiotheque idea, and to accept invitations for residencies at the Digital Arts Research Center UC Santa Cruz and at Miami-Dade College’s Koubek Center, to lecture as part of the Mary and Tony Blanco Lecture Series at Mills College, and participate in projects with Composers-Inside-Electronics in NYC and Frozen Music.

The future looks bright, so keep an eye on our SUBTROPICS.ORG and Subtropics Organization on Facebook and Instagram for news about what’s next.

did you experience Audiotheque 2.0?
then please click here to fill out this brief survey and help us learn more about your Audiotheque 2.0 experience

a chamber for sound introspection”

Gustavo Matamoros – a 10-year-long resident artist at ArtCenter/South Florida – has a 35 year career of designing and implementing frameworks for exploring perception in the realm of sound art.  Audiotheque 2.0 is his latest sound installation project conceived as a chamber for sound introspection in celebration of the auditory sense.

Audiotheque 2.0 features a 30-channel sound environment, a new order of sound art installation created by Matamoros. This new multi-channel environment is organized around four set configurations that can be used independently or together to exhibit new works of spatialized sound that offer visitors different kinds of immersive listening experiences. The aim is to provide sound art experiences not available elsewhere in South Florida.

“Four Audible Experiences of Movement of Sound in Space”

FOUR AUDIBLE EXPERIENCES OF MOVEMENT OF SOUND IN SPACE for Audiotheque 2.0 was created by Matamoros to highlight four different ways in which its new audio system can be used.

“The first experience I call, SMALL SOUND UP A WALL (for Alison Knowles.)  The second is titled, EVERGLADES: APPLIED UNIVERSAL FORCE (for Charles Recher.) Next comes, STRING SOLO (for Vito Acconci.) And last (but not least) is, EIGHTY FIVE AUDIBLE MOMENTS (for Pauline Oliveros.)”

view of the audiotheque 2.0 installation. all rights reserved © 2018, Subtropics Editions

Everglades: Applied Universal Force (for Charles Recher) by Gustavo Matamoros. ©2018, Subtropics Editions | live recording of Audiotheque 2.0’s sound system playing
best when hear through headphones

“Small Sounds are those created in the studio through the sounding of very small objects, to use one Alison Knowles’ phrases typical in our conversations: by bringing them ‘close at hand.’ Everglades is the direct result of a month-long, 2013 A.I.R.I.E. residency at Everglades National Park where I gathered over 200 hours of nature recordings captured in multiple locations at various times of the day, but mostly in the evenings. To scientists, this piece should fell like a wildlife party of sounds that aren’t normally heard together. To my ears, String Solo is the most poetic of the four. It is an introspective yet physically enveloping experience of the audible phenomena occurring inside a single vibrating string—so close that it resembles what we might see when looking at it through the lens of an electronic microscope. Eighty Five Audible Moments is the most eclectic of the four. It was one of 85 works commissioned from 85 composers and sound artists by Ione as a surprise to celebrate her wife Pauline’s 85th birthday. My piece to Pauline consists of 85 sound-events organized to occur within the span of 85 seconds.”

— Gustavo Matamoros


The Subtleties of Sound | Anne Tschida, Biscayne Times
Critic’s Choice | Anne Tschida, Art Circuits, Vol. 12. e-news Nº 112
Inside Miami’s Sound Chamber | Cathy Byrd, Fresh Art International podcast

from surveys collected between September 13-December 15, 2018

Intriguing, amusing, great! — Julian, (9-years-old)
Wonder — Heather
Affected, Depth, Intrigue — Cara
Exciting, amazing — Carla
Surprising, interesting, different — Yisel
Sensaciones, necesaria — Alexey
Poesia sonora, outstanding, #soreal — Rolando and Karla
Unexpected — Leimy
Perfect sound experience — Fabio
Informative — Kaye
Inspiring sound journey — Juniesky
Therapeutic, great sounds — Cynthia
Thought-provoking — Donna
Immersive, moving, dreamscape — Maria
Fascinating, invigorating — Sandy
Joyful, symphonic — Lily
Mind-opening, unique, enjoyable — Amanda
Engaging, thoughtful, social — Rae
Cerebral, intense, lovely — Dawn
Inspiring — John
Creative — Mark
Sublime, powerful, meditative — Yucef
New, impressive — Anonymous
Calming, Absorbing, Varied — Anonymous
Sparkling, innovative — Mark
Awesome — Patricia
Experimental — Anonymous
I love what you did to the space — Michelle
Sensitive, awareness of 3D sound — Carol
Enchanting, warm, relaxing — Aleli
Immersive chamber, sound experience, nomadic possibility — Eddie
Educational — Cathy
Fluid, complex, orient — O’Neal
Magic, exclusive — Fernando
Impeccable, tender, knowledgeable — Elaiza
Movement, visceral, electric — Dale
Sensory discovery, unknown sensation, excitement — Carlos
Enveloping, surprising — Manuel
Friendly, noisy, funny — Randall
Astonished, humming — Craig
Insightful, levitation, post-human — Angela
Presencia, atención, calma — Anonymous
Envolvente, inspirante, mental — Luis
Deep-listening, powerful, diverse — Juraj
Caught off guard — Leslie
Beautiful — Gilda
Physical, evocative, meditational — Karina
Curious — Joel
Surprised, creative, familiar — Jean François
Of discovery — Rene
Deep, human, sound — Alfredo
Alivio, vuelo, desdoblamiento — Mahara
Welcoming, enriching, blast — Artos
Enticing, pleasant — Armando
Uplifting, cognizant, fantastic — Stuart
Mysterious, urban, hypnotizing — Ignacia
Memory, fresh, still — Regina
Breathtaking, tropical, stimulating — Colette
Inviting, riveting, hypnotic — Anonymous
Vivid, spatial, experiential — John
Spectacular, one-of-a-kind experience — Gendry
Immersive, invaluable — Barron
Mandatory, ear-opening, necessary — Anonymous
Collaborative — Jennifer
Insightful, sensory — Simon
Transcendental, wonderful, enriching — Tom
Expanding, moving — Dimitry
Artistic, genio — Antonio
Creative, eye-opening — Diane
Rich, informative, memorable — Justin
Intriguing, startling — Anonymous
Fresh, poignant — Anonymous
Expressive, feel — Trevor
Meditative — Ficia
Mesmerizing, informative, pause-in-the-echo — Ombretta
Breath taking — Edward
Intense — Vivian
Thoughtful, special — Keaton
Pensive, layered — Caroline
Relaxing, stimulating, fantastic — Valerie
Generosity, deep space, granular — Daniel
Stimulating, meditative — Emanuel
Valuable — Andrew
Abstract, immersive — Natasha
Poesía, transportación — Ana
Fascinating, awakening — Dan
Enveloping, crackling, dynamic — Beau
Big, enthralling, real — Carlos
Surprising — Andy
Enveloping, clarity, brazing — anonymous (friend of Dan)
Intriguing, entertaining — anonymous (Melissa’s co-worker)
Surprising, natural, trip — Melissa
Free imagination, sound in the dark, sound in my body — Enrico
Impacting, deep listening — anonymous (walk in)
Insightful, aggressive — Thomas
Transported, moving — Stephan
Transcending, big — Jason
Transporting, three-dimensional, spectral — Reeve
Peaceful, surreal — Hunter
Deeply thought provoking — Elle
Emotional, heartfelt, flashback —LaDonna
Provocative — Jeanne
Moving, mindful, inner peace — Birgit
Grounding, submersive — Callie
Experimental — Ruben
Thought provoking — Carolina
String — Kevin
Informative — Hiram
Chance, randomness, experience — Silvana
Origen of the sound, character, soundscape — Aki
Wholesome, blues, professional — Julian
Sound art, explosive, fantastic — Ofelia
Incredible, educational, eye opening — Bobbi
Moving — Sonia
Cerebral, uplifting, perfect — Donna

(click here to complete the survey)
(click here to examine survey results)

• It opened my eyes to a new and unique type of art I wasn’t familiar with
• The art itself was, like one definition of poetry, sound “(language) made strange”
• It was intimate and sonically clear, a perfect environment to experience sound art
• [I liked] it’s uniqueness. A spot of darkness and magic in the middle of Lincoln Road
• It is just a luxury to have that space in the city
• No sound artist, curator or venue does what Audiotheque has done, ever
• There are just very few entities dedicated to sound. Audiotheque delivers a unique experience with a high standard of excellence and integrity; unmatched in the field
• I came in with a friend and Gustavo sat down and talked to us and made it engaging more than passive. Felt comfortable to ask questions — a rarity in most art spaces
• It was not only an excellent sound art project/venue but a place to engage members of the community in a meaningful way
• The highest technical and conceptual quality…
• The 40-channel system was a new kind of thing for me; amazing
• It satisfied my sense memory, triggered many emotional responses and moved me in a way that made me examine these feelings well after the experience. For me art is movement of the mind and shifts in consciousness — an experience that might change the way we see and hear things
• The sound quality, the expert curation of an incredible variety of sound (and visual) experiences, the balance between support of local and non-local artists, the uniqueness of having a museum space dedicated to sound (could not find another space like it in the US)
• The focus on creating a community of artists that engage with each other
• The variety and quality of sound art projects is quite astounding
• The level of creativity and dedication to each project can be heard
• It delivers a fully immersed spatial experience
• My experience in the audiotheque was a salon, a gathering of artists, writers, and composers in an intimate setting. We shared the experience of sound, then chatted, then listened some more. There were comings and goings. It was a most satisfying afternoon
• Gustavo is one of the great living sound artists, and this space is a reflection of his brilliance
• I listen and create sound art daily. Audiotheque has been a major influence and some of the best and most interesting in the country today
• Be unprepared and allow
• Being able to meditate on sounds and challenge how they are perceived
• The visit was an experience of knowledge and love
• It is like a visit to the art and sounds of the present and future
• The ability to connect and network with other artists is important to me as a visual and audio artist. I have made numerous connections, local and international, at the Audiotheque 1.0, and have been able to do performances there that I might not have been able to do otherwise. When going to the final concert of the Audiotheque 2.0, I sat next to someone who turned out to be a person who was interested in the same type of interactive video art that I was and we shared things we had experienced and perhaps a liaison will come of that. This is the kind of thing that only happens when there is a space for people to come together, listen, watch and share ideas
• Beautiful music presented beautifully
• I think that, like the Reich piece and the Bourgeois installation [I mentioned earlier as my favorite examples of sound art], I will remember audiotheque 2.0 for years to come
• This space is akin to a musical instrument. If you write for it a way that brings out its best qualities, then it is amazing. That said, it is not a PA system, and not suitable for sound reproduction in the traditional [concert/performance] sense, which in my opinion is a strength
• it was also a socializing place, a place to have interesting conversations on the basis of sound — conversations that could range from environmental concerns to existential fears — all prompted by the sounds and the listening experience. One huge challenge for contemporary art is to promote sociability without becoming commercial or simplistic, and the audiotheque managed that in its latest incarnation of 2018
• Gustavo gave me a hug and it seemed he understood exactly what I was feeling from the experience or how I was reacting to it. That stayed with me

•  •  •  •  •

The AUDIOTHEQUE 2.0 project and Fall 2018 programs are made possible with financial support from Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the City of Miami Beach Department of Tourism and Cultural Development, Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Miami Beach Mayor and City Commissioners; and by the Blank Family Foundation.

Audiotheque 2.0 is a sound art experience created by Gustavo Matamoros, produced and managed by SFCA [isaw+subtropics] with 2017 funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Additional funding provided by  ArtCenter/South Florida, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the City of Miami Beach Department of Tourism and Cultural Development, Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Miami Beach Mayor and City Commissioners; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and by the Blank Family Foundation. 

SFCA [isaw+subtropics] would like to acknowledge the ongoing support of Sennheiser, leaders in superior sound technology.