Art On The Move

Raul Romero:
Onomonopoetics of a Puerto Rican Landscape

Press Release

Locust Projects is proud to present Philadelphia-based artist Raúl Romero’s new project Onomonopoetics of a Puerto Rican Landscape, a performative work that responds to the diverse backgrounds that make up Miami. The evolving project will be based at Locust Projects starting September 12 with initial performances in the public sphere taking place through October 10, 2020. Admission is free.

Onomonopoetics of a Puerto Rican Landscape explores how people in Miami connect back to their homeland, in the case of the artist, Puerto Rico. Romero creates an acoustic ecology using his field recordings of the coqui, a small iconic frog native to Puerto Rico. The word “coqui” is an onomatopoeia named by the Tainos indigenous peoples of Puerto Rico. The distinct sound will be transmitted alongside the everyday urban sounds onsite at Locust Projects and throughout Miami, creating an augmented soundscape.

As a second-generation Puerto Rican immigrant growing up in Florida, connecting to his homeland through visiting the island has helped form Romero’s identity. He connects his experience of the land, the coqui, and the Arecibo observatory through sculpture, sound, and movement, reaching the public throughout different neighborhoods.

In this project, Locust Projects will be transformed into a site to transmit calls of the coquí via sound sculptures, bringing a sound unique to Puerto Rico to the Miami Design District. Motion-activated sound will be projected along Locust Project’s exterior allowing passersby to hear the coquí by foot or by car with
windows down as they drive along North Miami Avenue.

Romero will also introduce the sounds of the coquí to Miami’s larger community by modifying a cargo tricycle into a coquí sound transmission station. Riding throughout the streets of Miami neighborhoods, Romero and local Miami artists and performers will broadcast the sounds of the artist’s homeland as well as capture Miamians’ experiences and stories of the coquí and their own native regions’ iconic sounds.Onomonopoetics of a Puerto Rican Landscape explores how people connect with the lands where they hold their roots, and initiates conversation about what travels culturally and how reminders of nature can resonate, evoking memory and imagination.

Onomonopoetics of a Latino Landscape has been awarded $5,000 from the Velocity Fund Grant, an Andy Warhol Foundation regional regranting program grant for its iteration in Philadelphia and a NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA) grant. 


Raúl José Romero lives in West Philadelphia. He graduated from Yale University School of Art with an MFA in Sculpture, 2018. He currently works at the University of the Arts with the position of Film Coordinator and Lecturer teaching sound art. Raúl has exhibited at The Kitchen in New York City, NY. The Denver Contemporary Art Museum, Transformer Gallery in Washington D.C., Pentimenti Gallery in Philadelphia, PA, The Tampa Museum of Art, he was awarded the William and Nancy Oliver Gallery Prize by Anne Pasternak for the 32nd Annual Juried Art Exhibition at The Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, FL. 

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