The project initiators, Soundtrackcity and Tuned City, can look back on a long practice in promoting the theme of city and sound and the correspondingly excellent national and international networking that goes with it. Berlin, as a place of important initial movements in urban planning/urbanism and sound art/sound studies, was the inspiration for the first Tuned City Festival in 2008. We feel connected to an urban practice of "making" and would like to contribute to the diverse discourses involved. This Sonic Placemaking project has a pilot character for us. We intend to continue this in the form of a multi-year collaboration in which we want to develop sustainable criteria, methods and tools for future planning and participation processes from an acoustic point of view.
Soundtrackcity is an artists initiative founded in 2009 by Renate Zentschnig and Michiel Huijsman. The organization has developed from a curatorial collective producing sound art in public space to a participatory and artistic research agency that focuses on the social, political and cultural aspects of sonic urban environments. At the moment Soundtrackcity is involved in three research projects, each developed together with different groups of people in Amsterdam: Sonic West, Crowdsourcing Mr. Visserplein and Urban Sound Lab.
AIR Berlin Alexanderplatz
ABA (AIR Berlin Alexanderplatz) is an artists-run initiative and a residency program founded by artists Susanne Kriemann and Aleksander Komarov in 2009. ABA investigates how “artistic research” has become increasingly engaged with fields of knowledge that lie beyond what has traditionally been considered the “artistic sphere.” Conducting fieldwork, delving into archives, drawing parallels, testing hypotheses, creating photographic documentation and compiling new “findings” have all become integral parts of the contemporary term “artistic research”. The very idea of artistic research has prompted theorists such as Paul Feyerabend (Against Method) and Bruno Latour (Laboratory Life: The Social Construction of Scientific Facts) to call static notions of “method” and “fact” into question, giving particular relevance to subjective, interdisciplinary, and experimental approaches to research. ABA is a pioneer user of Haus der Statistik.
Tuned City is an artistic research project and a festival trying to understand city by the means of sound. Tuned City is researching the relation between sound and space and presents artistic work and theoretical positions 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’. During the previous edition in Berlin (2008), Tallinn (2011), Brussels (2013) and Ancient Messene (2018) Tuned City developed a series of formats with focused on lively site specific experience of theoretical questions in a mix of scientific lectures and demonstrations, artistic presentations and performances and location based installations.
Initiative Haus der Statistik
After more than ten years of vacancy, the Haus der Statistik site near Alexanderplatz in Berlin-Mitte is being developed as a long-term affordable place to live and work by five partners from the fields of civil society, politics and administration, in a way that is cooperative and oriented towards the common good. The 46,440 square metres of the existing 1970s buildings have been undergoing renovation since 2019 and will be supplemented by 65,000 square metres of new construction in the coming years. This will create affordable housing, a new city hall for the Mitte district, space for the Berlin administration and rooms for art, culture, social affairs and education in the new quarter.
Since summer 2019, selected ground floor areas of the existing buildings have been allocated to stakeholders in art, culture, education, social affairs and from the neighbourhoods as part of the pioneer utilisation. During the next years of construction and planning, these pioneer usages will processually and prototypically test what is later on to become established in the quarter for the long term.