Einander zuhören – Stadt-(Ge)Schichten

Listening to each other - Layers of narratives

Einander zuhören – Stadt-(Ge)Schichten is a project that invites artists, researchers and students to examin the relation between city residents and their urban environment. The ongoing project is being developed together with Goethe-Institut Athens and Fonés in in the frame of a locative media project with noTours and a sound cartography of Athens, creating interactive and site specific sound-narratives for a series of sound walks in the city.

Home > Project Blog > An approach to exchange between Germany and Greece

An approach to exchange between Germany and Greece

Sunday 16 February 2014, by Geert Vermeire

Students of the Folkwang Art University Essen looked for a location in the city, where they intended a change and transformation. Depending on the location and on their manner the participants explored sounds, tones and contents and experimented with these on the location itself. A next step worked on the production of small and cheap circuits that on the location itself could produce (with batteries or solar cells) sounds or that could record, transform or reproduce sounds present on the location. These could as well be controlled from the audio entry signal with sensors (for example photo cells).

Goal was to produce sound objects and means to disseminate sounds that can be replaced fast and cheap, and that can be installed in the selected locations on an easy way. Documenting the reactions of people passing and as well the decay or disappearance of the objects is an important part of this stage.

Occupying themselves with a certain location in the city results in de discovery of stories and worlds of sound, creating more specific soundscapes that can be integrated in the existing sound maps and in the next phase will be presented in the city itself, accessible with a smartphone and QR-codes.

An exchange between Germany and Greece leads to a dialogue about the own living zones and areas of daily life with unknown locations through exchange of soundscapes and sound recordings. To discover a new city with their ears and to hear the stories of the Greek participants to integrate in the own recognition of the German participants, next to an enrichment, with contents and with sound, for the own sound world.

Differences and creates poles in which understanding of each other can grow. The difference in languages is in this case an advantage and will give the chance to focus on the essential. Not only on a personal level but as well the artistic development is goal of these exchanges. A formation of Greek-German tandems is encouraged. To find common themes and the realisation of common projects within such tandems is not only connected with the own occupation with the living space of the city but it is opening as well ways towards new forms of creation and understanding.

In the exchange itself it comes down finding a mutual language, not only a communication language but in the first place to find a mutual artistic language. First step in this process will be to find a location in the strange city or to find a place with similarities in both cities, where the participants can relate to artistically, working with sound.

Essen sound recordings at flickr