During the corona pandemic, more and more people discovered the beauty of their neighbourhood, nearby park or nature reserve. The public space got a face and the awareness of sparingly dealing with nature and the environment was strongly stimulated. Artists also became amazed by all the beautiful things that could be found in the nearby public space. Animals, birds, plants and even insects became faithful companions during the solitary lockdown periods. Portuguese curator Raquel Castro has curated a special exhibition with European sound installation artists. Under the title Sound Art in Public Spaces, they shed current light on our rapidly changing view of public space and our environment. The Sounds Now project presents these sound installations, created on-site in five different European cities.
During November Music, three of the most striking projects were on display. In her installation Liminal, Portuguese artist Cláudia Martinho revealed the inner sound world of plants. In her poetic installation, she connected plants to sensors that pick up their bioelectric impulses. These impulses were translated and integrated in real-time into a wondrous soundscape full of field recordings and incantatory sounds.
Polish artist Martyna Poznanska created a new installation A Non-Human Story-Telling in which she aimed to re-establish ties between humans and the unknown, always alienating animal world. In her intimate sound installation – consisting of three cocoons woven from felt – the listener was confronted with the magical sound world of animals. A unique sound language that is closer to us than we would initially suspect.
In addition to these two works in the Verkade Factory, another sound installation could be seen in the beautiful upstairs room of the Willem Twee art space. Under his alias Sonoscopia, Portuguese artist Henrique Fernandes presented the series Liquid Aesthesia. In this ongoing series, Fernandes employs sound, light, water and plastic material to create a world of his own. A laboratory of light, shadow and sound that is much like a mystical physics experiment. Fernandes was inspired by the specific industrial environment of the Willem Twee Art Space.