The Voice of a City / Polyphony
An interactive tour of a virtual city. This work includes texts based on stories and testimonies of European citizens. At the same time, texts posted by viewers on social media appear within this virtual environment, creating a collective and multi-faceted narrative.
Between 2017 and 2019 artists Mark Etchells (UK), Thomas Kasebacher (AT), and Nada Gambier (FI/BE) investigated how personal (hi)stories uncover larger societal issues. By looking at individual’s everyday contexts and listening to their thoughts on political and social change, the notion of community and belonging, the future, and everything in-between, they attempted to form a map of who inhabits Europe today, what is on their minds and what are the links to history. Based on meetings with taxi drivers, teachers, political activists, lawyers, builders, farmers, and more, mainly living in Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Finland, the UK, Belgium, and France the artists created a kind of archive reflecting the state of affairs today.
Out of this process, several public events came about, amongst others, a performance, a participatory performance, a book, exhibitions, a series of writing workshops and public blind-dates, and a commissioned children’s performance. In 2020 the work was to continue its tour. However, this summer, in the midst of the uncertainty of the Corona pandemic, it soon became evident that traveling was not an option and many festivals turned into online events. How could the work be shared in this new reality?
For Allothroe Europe, instead of just transposing the existing work to the world of the internet, Nada & Co. decided to test another way of working, co-creating from afar, letting the existing material be re-possessed by the Greek media artist peqpez, inviting her to re-work parts of it. This autumn peqpez has been shaping the work in dialogue with artist Nada Gambier. Selecting material from the original archive and translating it to the online language has now given birth to The Voice of a City/ Polyphony, an interactive walk through a fictional virtual city bringing together some of the original writings of Gambier, Etchells, and Kasebacher with those of viewers, contributing their own stories, through Twitter. Viewers’ texts posted on the social media platform appear inside the virtual environment of The Voice of a City/ Polyphony articulating a collaborative and multi-author narrative.
Created by: peqpez.net
In dialogue: with Nada Gambier
Based on: texts by Mark Etchells, Thomas Kasebacher and Nada Gambier, a painting by Eugénie Obolensky and material from The Voice of a City by Nada & Co.
*The project is presented as part of the international project ΄Allothroe Europe: Polyphony, Echo, Solidarity’, with the financial support and under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Greece.
Co-ordination, Realisation: Ioanna Valsamidou, Design Direction, Artwork: Sakis Stritsidis, Web Design & Development: Thodoris Vlantousis