By Stephen Wilson

What is the creative process, turning nothing into something, an idea or intuitive thought into a final form? How does the process taken or materials used leave its imprint on the final object?

Such were the questions asked by Valeria Luiselli that framed her discussion at the 15th annual John L. Hatfield ’67 Lecture, a series sponsored by Lafayette College Libraries and endowed by a generous gift from alumnus John L. Hatfield ’67

Luiselli shared a work in progress titled Echoes from the Borderlands, a 24-hour sonic essay, that gathers image and sound from places and people along the U.S.-Mexico border. She has worked with two sound engineers and begun to travel the 24 hours it would take to drive along that dividing line.

A stick hitting the border wall.

Chants of American Indians.

Nature in its cacophony.

“This is polyphonic documentary fiction that extracts moments and actions in a space of tension, like that unseen yet palpable force between two magnets,” she says. “Unlike other mediums, sound demands time. You can’t fast forward to understand it; sound makes us sit and listen.”

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