Sensing Sonospace was a workshop conducted in the frame of the LAK festival of Nordic Sound Art in Copenhagen as part of a series of 8 workshops known as the “Fifth Wall”. The concept of this series was, in the words of the curator Derek Holzer, to “emphasize participatory situations which transform festival visitors from passive receivers to active creators of sound art. Eventually, both “artist” and “wall” dissolve away, leaving the responsibility of presenting the workshop results with the participants themselves.”
As a strong advocate of participatory culture, it was great to work within such a frame, for giving a workshop. I feel this type of approach not only helps redefine the relationship between audience and artist but also transforms the usual festival environment into a constructive platform for developing auditory culture. This was most evident in the gender shift from usual gender bias of the male centered sound art/experimental music scenes toward an overwhelmingly female majority in the organizing team, festival participants and public audience. This was well summed up by Derek in his reflections on the LAK festival.
Sensing Sonospace explored our awareness of sound and space, and how we can creatively use sound to redefine that space and actively shape our listening experience. Our tools were the former-factory location of the LAK Festival, as well as ordinary objects. Our methods were structured exercises, performative games and improvisation. The outcome was aimed at creating a choreographed listening experience to share with the public by the workshop participants themselves.
The workshop process resulted in a highly orchestrated guided soundwalk through the neighborhood surrounding the festival grounds that lasted about 45 minutes. Working with a great group of participants, we made over 6 tours in 3 days. I want to thanks Stine, Anne Louise, Rebecca and Vibe for the time and energy they gave to the workshop. We worked through many issues in this workshop that went well beyond just sound and listening into topics of trust, responsibility, walking, guiding and building narrative experiences out of everyday places.
Footage from our guided tours can be seen in the festival documentation video (from 1:12)
Some snapshots from the festival:
Some analog photos from Copenhagen: