While You Are Here… is a contemplative approach towards a collective field recording practise at a space of undergoing transformation. From a technical point of view, the entry level for participation has to be as low as possible – through the use of smartphones. At the same time, the act of using the technology – the act of recording – should be linked to a process of reflection on the practice of field recording. By asking questions that go beyond the simple act of capturing and naming an environment or situation, guidance and awareness are provided. In addition, it is intended to raise curiosity about the practice of field recording and to provide information to get started in archiving, questioning, and experiencing our surroundings.
Via QR codes distributed throughout the neighborhood, people are invited to use their smartphone’s microphone to capture sound and contribute to a collection of recordings that will be stored in a database and streamed in a continuous livestream. The stream will be available on the same website. By listening on site, one will be able to experience the past, present, and potential future of this space in transition. While it is possible to adapt the concept to other contexts and locations, While You Are Here… documents the process of gentrification and transformation of the former industrial districts of Lövholmenand Marievik in the Lilljeholmen area (Stockholm, Sweden).More information about the socio-cultural and conceptual aspects of this project can be found on the project page.
The concept of using a website to collect contributions as sound files for a continuous audio stream is inspired by S4NTP‘s Future Voices. Future Voices was developed as a contribution to the 2021 edition of CTM Festival’s Radio Lab by Prof. Alberto De Campo‘s class for computational arts at the University of Arts Berlin. I’d like to thank Vinzenz Aubry for providing me with the code structure for storing audio files on a server and Spencer Carter for his inspiring essay Don’t Extract! Taking a Step Back – Towards a Transparent and Holistic Field Recording Practice.