Sound Art in Public Spaces

Wilde Westen (BE), November Music (NL), Spor (DK), Onassis Stegi (GR), Ultima (NO)

Travelling to five European cities within the Sounds Now project, the Sound Art in Public Spaces exhibition challenges us to look at climate change in a new way.

Essaim Felix Blume - Sound Art in Public Spaces
© Felix Blume

For curator Raquel Castro, our cities should not be “concrete jungles”, but rather enormous habitats for diverse fauna and flora. The urban public space must therefore be re-thought and re-built in an inclusive way – so that people as well as plants and insects feel at home. For Raquel, this is the only way to tackle the current climate crisis. Creative stories – such as the sound art installations in this exhibition – can help us look at climate challenges in a different way.

“Sound can be a huge source of inspiration, it triggers our imagination and prompts action. Unlike image, which remains superficial, sound puts us right in the middle of our environment and brings us deeper to the core” – Raquel Castro

Sound Art in Public Spaces will be presented in different forms in five cities of the Sounds Now project. Starting in Kortrijk (BE), it will move next month to ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NL), then to Aarhus (DK), Athens (GR) and Oslo (NO) in 2022. This auditory experience puts the visitor right in front of nature, asking how we deal with it, and what impact our choices have on us as humans and the other organisms on our planet, each with its needs and life rhythms. Sound installations form the core of the exhibition, with the aim of generating new insights and drawing attention to necessary social changes.

Working with Sounds Now partner Wilde Westen in Kortrijk, Raquel has selected four works to be presented with the Wonder Festival under the theme ‘Rethinking public spaces’. According to her, there is too little (freely accessible) nature in our public space. Each of these works mimics something from nature: the buzzing of bees, the sound of rustling leaves… but in an artificial way. By introducing this artificial nature into an industrial environment, she makes visitors think about how far we want to go as human beings in the makeability of the world. We make everything, so will we soon be creating nature too when climate change has wiped out the fauna and flora of this world?

The Installations

Félix Blume – ‘Essaim / Swarm’

Sonoscopia – ‘Liquid Aesthesia’

Gabey Tjon a Tham – ‘The Monads’

Gil Delindro – ‘Burned Cork – Resilience’

© Gil Delindro