Day 2, 10 November, De Bijloke Foyer, 09:00–13:00
The goal of the workshop is to create a sound map of the area around the conference and compose a soundwalk using mobile phones and GPS to augment the sensorial dimensions of experiencing the city. We offer to participants the use of Android mobile phones, headphones, software, and recording equipment. Participants are advised to bring their own laptops and Android OS devices if possible, although Akoo-o can provide a number of mobile phones. The workshop will be scheduled as follows:
(1) Theory (distinction of sound walks, listening walks, audio walks; promenadology; public space art; link with the Deleuzian notion of nomadism and rhizome; locative media art). (2) Walk around the area of the conference venue to get acquainted with conscious listening and the specific site; field recordings of the area. (3) Editing the audio material (field recordings); acquaintance with editing software and basic techniques. (4) noTours (getting acquainted with this open source locative media platform to create a sound walk using the area map). (5) Walk to the area to listen to the soundwalk. (6) Discussion.
Participants are inducted into the process of soundscape composition, sound design, and sound mapping within the framework of site-specific artistic practice and promenadology and are familiarised with the use of innovative locative media applications. We will exemplify in practice field recording techniques and sound editing, as well as reproduction and sound composition based on the map of the city, using the open-source platform “noTours.” noTours (http://www.notours.org/) is an open-source software platform developed by escoitar.org collective for creating site-specific and interactive artistic works with the use of locative media technology, which results in an environment of “augmented aurality” within public space.
Starting from the situationist practice of “derive” and the Deleuzian concept of “nomadism,” we create itineraries that escape from concrete urban planning—which is primarily visual, geometrically aligned, and panoptically designed. We suggest a new cartographic model that could represent various layers of perception and experience of urban space and is based on mobility rather than stasis: this would include time as a fourth dimension, the subjective glance, the relational and emotional layers of experience; finally, it should be open to a polyphonic narration about space, at the process of its transformation into place. Strolling within an aurally augmented city is an open-ended artistic gesture that is ready to be reinterpreted and retoured by each listener. noTours is a tool for détournement and moving, appropriating the popular format of tourist guides and transforming it into a medium for non-touring and non-guiding.The notion of “augmented aurality,” as used in the artistic practice of soundwalks, consists of intervening in space using audio means. It is an experience of immersion in a hybrid environment between material and potential reality, which employs the multiple levels of the constantly transforming notion of public space. As Deleuze and Guattari imply, many social activities, including art, can constitute a war-machine drawing, “a plane of consistency, a creative line of flight, a smooth place of displacement,” by reforming or acting against dominant systems and/or practices. In the case of soundwalking, nomadism is not relevant because it suggests fleeing the city but because it proposes wandering as resistance to the city’s confined and bordered space. In these soundscape compositions narratives prevail, communities acquire space and voice, and buildings are not the mere subjects of a sightseeing tour; the city is not a collection of historical information but a space to aurally, artistically, and socially wander within the microframes this space rhizomatically consists of. Music and narrative become tools; leaving behind ethnography, documentary, score, concert hall, museums, and institutions, they become pliable materials, fragments of a living organism, of a city-score whose music is made by and is addressed to people. Actually the notion of nomadism and war machine apply here “as a war of becoming over being, of the sedentary over the nomadic.”
Nevertheless, one should not assume that locative media soundwalking is in itself an act of drift against dominant systems. Locative media technology relies upon the ultimate panoptical device, satellite supervision, which in turn is adopted within the lures of postmodern, immaterial capitalism. But as the capitalisation of individual movement establishes itself alongside the colonisation of private space by “dotcom neoliberalism,” it is the movement between milieux, the reflection upon our shifting habitat, and the détournement of the parts of a well-oiled machine that can give us the ability to escape from a stagnant structure. From this perspective, we tend to view the work of art as a process, a dialogue between fields, a discursive negotiation with our social, physical, and digital environment, and an approach that reflects on the way the workshop is performed.
Akoo-o is a collective composed of Nikos Bubaris (anthropologist, sound artist), Sofia Grigoriadou (visual artist, sound artist), Dana Papachristou (musician, musicologist), Giorgos Samantas (anthropologist, sound artist), Geert Vermeire (curator, member of the noTours team).
Nikos Bubaris is Assistant Professor at the Department of Cultural Technology and Communication at the University of the Aegean in Greece. His research interests lie in the fields of sound studies, cultural theory, and media studies. He has published in journals, books, and conference proceedings on audio technologies, acoustic communication, sonic cultures, sound design and art, mobile media, computer games, and user-interface and interaction design. He has edited books on cultural industries, cultural representations, and cultural theory and has produced various sound and multimedia works for art, museum, and cultural exhibitions, actions, and performances. He is member of the art-research collective Fones.
Sofia Grigoriadou is currently completing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the Athens School of Fine Arts. She graduated from the ASFA (2013) and the Philosophical, Pedagogical, and Psychological Department of the University of Athens (2006). She participated in various exhibitions, conferences, and artistic projects, such as Workshop on Value, 4th Biennial of Athens (2013); Refuge Project II—Testimonials, Milos (2014), Listening to Each Other/Einander zuhoren—Stadt—(Ge)Schichten, Goethe Institute, Athens (2014); Digital Storytelling in Times of Crisis, Athens (2014); 2nd Istanbul Design Biennial, Istanbul (2014); Archaeological Dialogues, Archaeology, Anthropology and Contemporary Art Workshop, Athens (2015). She has organised and carried out artistic workshops and educational programmes and worked with children with special needs. She collaborates with Elpida Rikou and Io Chaviara in the framework of TWIXTlab, an art project situated in-between contemporary art, anthropology, and the everyday. Her artistic practice includes mapping, fieldwork, installation, text, audio, video, and photography.
Dana Papachristou is a musicologist and artist who focuses on the combination of arts through the use of new technological media. She studied music at the Hellenic Conservatory, musicology at the Kapodistrian University of Athens, and music culture and communication in the departments of Media and Music Studies, leading to her dissertation, which looks into the “Relation of Music and Painting within Modernism Throughout the Correspondence of Schoenberg and Kandinsky.” At the moment she is working on her doctoral thesis in the discipline of philosophy of music in regard to Deleuze and Guattari, “The Aesthetics of New Media Art in the Works Anti-Oedipus and Mille Plateaux,” at Paris 8—Vincennes and the Ionian University. She is a senior student in composition in the class of Theodoros Antoniou and a piano studies graduate (studying with Vicky Chistophilou). In the recent years she has participated in interdisciplinary research projects about contemporary music and its relationship with other forms of art and in several music projects, and has worked as a musician in education.
Giorgos Samantas is an anthropologist engaged with sound as cultural substance. He has studied social anthropology and history (Aegean University, GR) and visual anthropology (Manchester, UK). He has participated in group exhibitions, artistic events, and conferences in Greece, UK, Slovenia, and Albania, and has been a member of the Fones collective in Athens [Border Crossing Network—Salovci, Slovenia (2007) and Korca, Albania (2008); Researching and Crossing the Boundaries of “Electronic/Digital” Music, Synch Festival, Athens (2009); Senses in Motion, Manchester, UK (2011); Voices: Invitation for Exchange—Ανταλλαγή/Αustausch/Exchange, Broadway Gallery, Athens; Fones@EMPROS Theatre (2012, 2013); Fones@CAMP! (2014); Listening to Each Other/Einander zuhoren—Stadt—(Ge)Schichten, Goethe Institute, Athens (2014)]. He is a co-organiser of the “sound circles” workshop in TWIXTlab and is also engaged with the exploration of anthropology “beyond text,” using video, sound, and photography as a means to expand anthropological media.
Geert Vermeire is a Belgian curator, poet, artist, art education expert, and librarian. As an artist he creates site-specific installations and performances. As a member of the noTours team he is involved in projects based on community involvement via locative media, sound mapping, and sound-space installations, specifically in relation to literature. In Geert Vermeire’s creative work, technology as a tool has the paradoxical intention of slowing down awareness and inverting time, creating tangible memories and traces. He has worked in several countries in Western Europe and Latin America, including at SMAK Museum of Contemporary Art Ghent, E-Culture Fair/World Creativity Forum Hasselt, Manifesta9 (Belgium), B-Tours Festival Berlin-Leipzig and Ruhr Triennale Essen (Germany), Monastery of Tibaes—Festival Encontros das Imagens in Braga, Casa dos Bicos, and the FBAUL Art University in Lisbon (Portugal), Fotofestiwal Lodz (Poland), BAW Festival Digital Art Tirgu Mures (Romania), A Balkan Tale (Belgrade City Museum, National Museum of Kosovo, Tirana, Skopje, and at Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz), Goethe Institut Athens, Museum Bathhouse of the Winds, Athens, the Athens School of Fine Arts, the University of Thessaly (Greece), Centro Cultural de Banco do Brasil, and the National Library and National Museum of Brasilia (Brazil). Forthcoming and ongoing projects take him to Greece, France, Cyprus, and Lebanon.