Events: 2nd October – Project Presentation, 7pm @ Kooshk Residency
30th October – Open Studio, 12pm – 9pm @ Deegar Platform, Darbast

Platform and Tehran Navab Bath House

Last Weeks of Pre-Covid Tehran

an introduction by Mehdi Behbudi

Finding a chance to explore your city together with a group of enthusiastic sonic explorers is an amazing experience. On the first day of the residency in Tehran, I found that chance to go on a sound walk in the middle of my noisy crowded city, together with Kathrin, Ali, Lorenz, Kaveh and Carsten Stabenow.

It was a beautiful start. Carsten left a few days later and I was left with 4 artists who each had a special view of the world. Ali and Kathrin were more into exploring the city. Kaveh was obsessed with the acoustic qualities of an old bath-house in Tehran. And Lorenz was experimenting and working inside – paying attention to details and interactions. As a mentor, being involved in 4 parallel lines of exploration and realization of different ideas is like trying to be a kind of Buddha: observe, observe, observe, be calm and help.

With Kathrin we had 2 kinds of explorations: exploring the city for water and exploring the bazaar of Tehran to find materials and mechanical parts for making a sound sculpture working with the city channels’ scarce water flow. It was an amazing journey. At some parts of the work we had to go and search for a water source that could feed our intended channel. In the middle of working on Kathrin’s idea, she was busy the whole time with taking photos and making field recordings that were presented beautifully on the open studio day.

With Ali development of an idea was very quick. On the first day’s sound walk he somehow fell in love with metal ventilation channels that are very common in Tehran. These channels are usually made to route the cool air from water cooling systems on the roof top to different parts of the house. Because air flows in these channels, they always contain vibrations and sound. Realizing Ali’s idea involved a lot of metal and electrical work.

With Kaveh we were most of the time just listening. He had his idea ready from the beginning: remaking the sonic ambience of a bath-house. But the exploration of the bath-house acoustics changed the outcome of the idea. In the end we had to listen to the way that the building was responding, resonating and giving feedback.

Lorenz’s RROOOOMM was like a small-scale, deformed Tehran in a room. The most important part of working with Lorenz was talking about ideas. With him my main acts were: listening, observing and enjoying.