“Just as noise is what we make of certain sounds. the meanings we assign to noise are no less consequential than the meanings we assign to other sounds. Noise may be unwanted or incomprehensible sound; it is never insignificant sound.” Hillel Schwartz in “Making Noise”, Zone Books 2012
Urban environments and architecture are traditionally described in visual terms, but it is our sense of hearing that assists us in experiencing and navigating through the spaces we inhabit. Likewise, there is no space without sound and no sound without space. Sound is an essential part of social experience, and should be of the utmost concern to architects, planners and artists alike.
Tuned City is a project researching this relation between sound and space. The first edition was in Berlin in 2008 and passed afterwards through Tallinn and Nürnberg. Q-O2 workspace has invited Tuned City in 2013 to create a Brussels edition of this event. Tuned City presents artistic work and theoretical approaches derived from critical preoccupations with sound in the context of urban and architectonic situations with particular emphasis on original approaches to the role of ’sound’ and ‘listening’. In this project, exploration and research are equally important as the artistic outcomes. In other words there will be a strong interaction between aspects.
Brussels proves to be a very dense and diverse multi-layered urban environment. The city is characterised by many sudden breaks and cuts of city fabric, architecture and social settings resulting in a vibrant tension. Very often those contrasts seem to create a third instance within their thresholds – a very particular kind of resonance. What tools do we have to explore, probe, decode, transcript and describe such an audible environment beyond the obvious?
These observations have derived certain thematic complexes which will be deepened in the theoretical as well as the artistic part of the project: noise and multiplicity, architecture as a media of listening and atmospheres of place.