Listening to Listening

Exhibition | 48 Hours Neukölln Festival / Art Space Lab
Fri 18.06.2021: 19:00 – 21:00
Sa 19.06.2021: 13:00 – 20:00
Sun 20.06.2021: 13:00 – 18:00

Listening to Listening is a group exhibition, curated by Tuçe Erel, explores the impact of air, architecture, and sound on listening through site-specific interventions on the windows.

Listening is an embodied practice, heard and felt as a change in air pressure, a vibrational force that resonates across collective bodies and minds. 
When face-to-face encounters have been limited and drastically reduced during the last months, sharing air acted as an ultimate form of intimacy. The installation by Perea-Díaz’s ‘In-Between Breaths’ highlights domestic soundscape recordings of people’s breaths when asked to listen to their bodily exhalation using headphones. By resonating the venue’s window, the piece focuses on the possibilities of creating spatial sonic volumes with a breathing device. The sonic scenery amplifies and reconstructs circles of human breathing by using generative sound processing that synchronizes and phases the recording in time. 
Guffond’s work, is based on the field recordings made directly outside TOP gallery passing bodies, human and non-human, may listen to her listening. Drastic cut ups, random loopings and altered pitch remix the sound of Schiller Promenade to exemplify how we each listen in our own way, hear and overhear through our own filters. Sound at once singular and universal affects individual bodies uniquely while enveloping all at once through different kinds of intensities. Listening tensions may manifest as different needs, desires, and demands. What does it mean to listen collectively with non-equivalence? Could listening to listening be a technique to appreciate and mobilise difference?
Köm’s “Eyes on Eyes” is based on the archival materials of Berlin city maps, speculative objects and merges two distinct mediums, playing them off one another to understand the observers’ role while offering a glimpse into how algorithms see the world. The artwork speculates how algorithms create visual regimes and what future shape cities may take by manipulating historical maps. Its narrative presents a surreal blend of fictional excerpts through an emergent visual scape. Moving into ongoing seeing practices, the piece resonates with the city’s aerial landscape, deconstructs cartographic surveillance, and scrutinizes the senses through vision.
Tülü’s work in collaboration with Kiziria, “The innocent material” proposes to discern how our common architectural materials actually influence one of our senses, hearing and listening. The project looks at the materials innocently while they inform our sense of space, and improve communication in everyday environments. The spinning motor structures – the sonic objects – produce different sounds while touching plastic, wood, ceramic and metal. The recorded sound heard from the cellar has been produced using each performance of the sonic object. The rhythms, which have been created, take in mind that all materials play a big role in helping users understand their environment. In the context of the exhibition, the soundscape of the urban space adds one more layer as well as the other sound installations. All together they generate an acoustic territory that the building itself sounds, resonates, breathes and becomes the sonic agency.
‘Sonic Violence’ by Tülü and Perea-Diaz is a provocative sound blocking object, the artists aim to use the power and politics of design to create  images that invite the audience to think about the possible connections between sonic violence and verbal aggression in public space. The headphone-shaped object is produced with different materials; plastic bottles, newspapers, used materials, everyday objects, etc. For this occasion, the one with bread will be presented on printed fabric which can be seen from the storefront. These headphones have been produced as  provocative designs to create awareness of the sonic aggressions which we confront daily. We use headphones as protection objects to block any sound.

Air is a crucial environment for breathing and hearing. In 2020, how one understands and interprets the notion of air has shifted due to a novel respiratory illness, caused by an airborne transmitted coronavirus. Based on these traumatic global-scale experiences, we decided to rethink air and its function in our sound-based artistic research, concerning the 48 Hours Neukölln Festival theme in 2021. Within this scope, Listening to Listening brings together four artists (Jasmine Guffond, Yelta Köm, Samuel Perea-Díaz, Banu Çiçek Tülü & Irakli Kiziria) at Top Transdisciplinary Project Space. This sonic show explores the possibilities of exhibiting and curating aural arts to reflect different audiences and modes of listening. Listening is a practice of embodiment that can be heard as a vibrational mechanism in the air or triggered through our minds. To hear collectively, we share the aerial vibration, the sound of others, and the listening of ourselves.

The artists are invited to use contact microphones, speakers, and screens which will be directly attached to the surface of the building, using transducers installed directly in the architectural elements of the façade (window glass, ventilation grid, and door) as well as the visual and non-visual components of what can be hidden or shown through the window.

These four pieces negotiate the question of “act of listening,” dealing with sound, air, movement, air circulation, and ventilation without forgetting its emotional and mental impact as well as a collectivity of the process. The sonic and visual experience will be an intervention on the project space’s windows by resonating with or without sound.

The four sound and visual installations will be experienced from the outside of the project space, people who pass by will hear a piece both coming from the ground and window. Through this installation, we aim to create a collective experience of sound and listening in the open air that the space will be used as an audio device and its content will deal with the understanding of solidarity and togetherness during these troubled times. All these prepositions enact with the question of “listening to listening” that each artist’s intervention proposed on the topic of sounded air oscillating between improvisation, generative electronic sound, and field recordings.

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Listening to Listening is kindly supported by the 48 Hours Neukölln Festival and Top Transdisciplinary Project Space.