– Site-specific collaborative sound lab – Took place at CLB, Berlin and FLUC, Vienna – Initiated and produced by Max Baraitser Smith – 2023
During my internship at CLB Berlin, I initiated a collective residency focused on conducting site-specific sonic research. I invited 8 artists to join the residency, which took place from the 16th-20th January 2023, cultimating in a performance evening and an exhibition. Meeting Place for Sounds has since been commisioned by FLUC, Vienna (14-16th March 2023) and Soundcamp, London (Summer 2023).
The goal is to create a space for prototyping and experimenting with new modes of sonic experience, knowledge production, decision-making processes and social organization. This is described in more detail below.
Fig. 1-2 Promotional flyers
Sam Baraitser Smith
Max Baraitser Smith
In order to engage with a site, we try to be physically present as much as possible. Everything happens on-site, whether it is reading, eating, data collection, analysis, group discussions, laptop research or public presentations. This leads to surprising encounters with local residents and time-specific phenoma, such as people entering/leaving work or the sudden appearance of insect sounds from a sunny patch of vegetation.
Fig. 7 Listening Bench by Jakob Köchert and Marta Beauchamp, is a public bench for listening and talking about sound (Praterstern, Vienna).
Fig. 3 FLUC, Vienna
Fig. 4-6 Our remote research locations: Binkhorst district in The Hague, KNSM-eiland in Amsterdam
Fig. 8-9 Preparations for Listening Bench
When everyone works in the same space, things happen collectively. Informal micro-feedback sessions take place, and matters of group concern emerge through conversation.
On a metalevel, we try to learn something about collaborative processes through self-observation: making collective decisions while at the same time observing and documenting the way we make them.
Fig. 10-12 Discussion and documentation at CLB Berlin
Fig. 13-15 Presentations at FLUC
We converge on sound, coming from very different backgrounds. To list a few: live audio streaming (Mort), graphic design (Sam), neuroscience+cello (Marta), guitar+listening practices (Robbi), architecture (Jakob).
This interdisciplinary mix brings more perspectives, and allows us to work on multiple layers at the same time, e.g. repositioning a chair (spatial) while acknowledging it as a listening position (aural) and a place for having a conversation (social).
Fig. 17 During the FLUC residency, a curious loop established itself whereby the working/presenting environment shaped what was worked on/presented, which in turn re-shaped the environment.
In our first project, we gave an evening of performances with sound walks, listening exercises and group improvisation.
At FLUC, we tried a totally new approach, producing live nightly radio broadcasts which documented the activities which had happened during that day.
Fig. 21-23 Public performances at FLUC (Kristina Warren, Marta Beauchamp, Mort Drew)
Fig. 18-20 Public performances at CLB Berlin
We always try to invite guests to visit our process. In our first project, we invited Peter Cusack (UDK Sonic Arts), Udo Knoll (Radio Aporee), and Sven Sappelt to give feedback on our process.
Fig. 24 Feedback from guest professors Peter Cusack and Udo Knoll
New Experiences, Different Ways of Knowing
All of our projects explore alternative ways to experience a space. Apart from being used in artworks, these are also open invitations for further development, by visitors, the artists themselves, or by future researchers.
Tapping, composed by Robbi Meertens, conducted by Max Baraitser Smith.
This is a chance to listen to the walls: What to they sound like? What materials are they made from? Are they solid or hollow?
Fig. 26-27 Jakob Köchert making his Wurstlprater composition