sonotopia ––– sonic explorers

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Since 2015, the Beethoven foundation for art and culture of the federal city of Bonn has organized “Bonn hoeren – Sonotopia”, the European student competition for sound art installation. This is the world’s only endowed competition for students of sound art. The creation of a European prize for the promotion of young sound artists will give up-and-coming talents in the field of sound art both greater visibility and audibility in the public sphere. 

The international residency and exchange project “Sonotopia – the sonic explorers” will turn former Bonn prize winners into traveling researchers and sound art ambassadors.

To open up the world for one’s self or to open up one’s self to the world – both processes commence with listening. Our perception of the world “out there” begins with listening, long before we are born. The act of listening is the foundation for every type of communication and social interaction. Both of the latter have to be learned. 

6 young European sound artists will go for one month on project- and research resindencies to Tehran/Iran, Dakar/Senegal and Valparaiso/Chile (2 to each place) to work there together as a group with 2 young local artists and a local mentor. These groups will explore the cities from the position of listening. How do cities sound today? How different is listening in other cultures? In the focus of the project lays the artistic examination of urban phenomena from the sonic perspective, their interpretation and transformation with multiple artistic methods.

In 2020 all participants come together for a second residence in Bonn/Germany – the home of the Beethoven anniversary year – to meet the other groups, exchange their experiences and explore together a different city context. A final exhibition im Künstlerforum Bonn will present the results.

>>> background and detailed project description