'The Listening City ' 01.04.2013

A team of sound artists (www.notours.org and Karolin Killig), multimedia artists and urban artists (www.wit-urbanteam.com and Christian Hardt) curated by Geert Vermeire examine the relationship between residents, the senses, sound and the city in a simultaneous and collective creative process in Athens, Essen and Dresden.

This happens via meetings with older residents (living memory) and with young people and art students in the various cities, engaging them in the future development of their environment and to excite them about their cities.

The project offers surprising, enriching and unexpected encounters with the city, its history and its residents and incites to reflect upon urban realities and the contemporary human condition in a broader sense. Local residents and young people are invited to collaborate in recording and creating soundscapes for locative media that are strongly rooted in the urban fabric of their cities but link the local context with issues of global significance and with European themes of urban life.

During the process the project will be working on the realization of interactive online tools, videos, soundtracks and texts that will allow people to explore, share and shape the ways everyday sounds influence our perception of city.

Converations and workshops, exploring the relationship between city, space, body and sound, will lead to the development of interactive sound maps, the creation of urban and artistic soundscapes of the three cities and a sound walk in Athens for the general public. In a second phase sound walks will be created in Essen and Dresden. These sound walks will propose an augmented aurality experience. In other words, the experience of new layers of reality cover the city.

The first sound walk will bring urban experiences of Essen and Dresden to Athens, as perceived through the ears of residents and young people of the German cities. Simultaneously residents of Essen and Dresden will discover Athens via stories of older residents and soundscapes made by young people on specific locations of Athens. These materials will be interpreted and transformed by participants in Germany and laid over the original locations in the city.

The whole will present alternative and surprising experience of the city showing oases and focal points of the city, changes, breaks and shifts of the three cities laid over each other , collectively created via mutual listening and via listening to each other, as perceived through the ears and eyes of artists in collaboration with residents and young people.

A project of the Goethe Institut Athens with WIT Urban Team, noTours, Karoling Killig, Christian Hardt. In collaboration with the Athens School of Fine Arts (ASFA), Folkwang Kunst Universität Essen, Academia Dantesca. Curated by the Milena principle – Geert Vermeire. Literary consultant and research : Simona Vermeire. Media design: Annemie Mestdagh and Horacio Gonzalez Dieguez.

© Geert Vermeire