Claiming the night: an AR sound workshop on walking after dusk | Amanda Gutiérrez
Claiming the night : an AR sound workshop on walking after dusk | Amanda Gutiérrez
Saturday August 13th 11-3pm (Online)
Sunday August 14th 3-7pm (In-person at Parc La Fontaine)
Followed by public event 7:30pm Sunday August 14th
Free workshop |In English | Register via this link
How do we listen collectively? How can we map our gendered and particular experiences of place, and specifically of walking at night, through storytelling? And what do those stories tell us about the ways we relate to our surroundings?
Led by artist Amanda Gutiérrez and informed by her ongoing research, the workshop will approach walking and listening as strategic political intervention, and as intersectional feminist practice. Together participants will learn more about mapping, augmented reality, attentive listening, storytelling, and the links between them. You will also be invited to reflect on the theoretical, ethical, and technical tools involved in these processes.
This workshop will take place over two days and will be followed by a public presentation. The first part of the workshop (online) will introduce subjective cartography and its tools. This will be framed within the larger history of tactical media and other socially engaged practices that embrace collectivity as a tool for resistance and creation. In the second part of the workshop, you will be guided through the use of augmented reality and sound design via the production of an AR soundwalk around Parc La Fontaine. You will create field recordings that will be edited into a sound montage and integrated as AR sounds for site-specific locations. On the Sunday evening following the workshop, you will have the opportunity to share your recorded story and a collective sound design during a soundwalk open to the public!
Free activity but limited space! To register click here. Registration closes July 22. Any questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Alexis Bellavance
A Soundtrack for Collective Emancipation
Text by Geneviève Wallen
“Combining theory and hands-on activities, this hybrid two-day workshop explored sound walks as a method for communal care, while promoting collective agencies in the public sphere. Multi-disciplinary artist Amanda Gutiérrez facilitated a generous space for participants to think through how environmental soundscapes, subjective mapping, storytelling, allyship, and activism intersect.
Critical in her approach, the artist works against promoting a western understanding of acoustic environments, and instead privileges intentional, local, and intersectional sonic experiments. During her online presentation, Gutiérrez discussed the place of sound in her ongoing research into collective listening in relation to spatial scenography, access, identity, and memory. She presented models of sensorial analysis that take into consideration aspects of the built environment and social spaces. Through thoughtful prompts the participants shared their experiences of walking at night and discussed their own situatedness in relation to those experiences, allowing for a more nuanced approach to the global feminist movement “Reclaim the Night.” Galvanizing women and gender non-confirming folks since the late 1970’s, this nocturnal march supports survivors, and advocates for the right to safely navigate public spaces without fear of male violence. Gutiérrez’s investigations of nocturnal walking speak to her broader interest in creating a sonic archive that centers the oral histories and embodied subjectivities of racialized women and queer folks in the public realm.
For the second part of the workshop, the cohort was tasked to prepare a sound piece at Parc Lafontaine for a public sound walk. The aim was to generate an intimate version of “Reclaim the Night,” inviting the public to experience the soundscape created by the cohort. Participants explored their environment, practicing deep listening, and chose a location to pin onto an AR mapping program. They were invited to capture sounds of interest or to create a voice note in response to their chosen space. With a short introduction to the free AR mapping software Echo, and the free sound editing program, Audacity, participants experimented with basic sound composition in space. In introducing these technologies, Gutiérrez highlighted the need for caution and attention to their particular histories; for example, AR was originally conceived as an instrument for military surveillance.
When I spoke with Gutiérrez after the workshop, she described the excitement of opening her process and collaborating in the design and piecing together of a sound walk, something she normally develops alone, or on rare occasions, with friends. For those interested in exploring this collective project, the cohort’s contributions are available online. Stroll around and tune into the embodied sonic experiences made accessible through this map.”
Geneviève Wallen is a Tiohtiá:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal and Tkaronto/Toronto-based independent curator, write, researcher, and workshop facilitator. Wallen’s practice is informed by BIPOC healing platforms offering alternatives to neo-liberal definitions of care.