- February 2016 – Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Silence, Narrative and the Intimacy of the city
Read more here: http://urbanemptiness.org/actions/february-2016-edinburgh/
- May 2016 – Athens (Greece)
Real and imaginary embodied landscapes | Sensing Silences
1. A silent walking workshop in the empty building of the Athens Museum of Modern Art. Silent walks were combined with an introduction to documentation methods (sound recording, narrative and dialogues techniques).
2. An experiential workshop with students from the postgraduate programme “Design, Space, Culture” (Department of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, url: https://www.arch.ntua.gr/course_instance/7536) focusing on body awareness in the process of urban reading, narratives and design. A silent group walk, a second walk of reading and documenting the landscape and workshops on further editing, mapping and interpreting the readings were combined to emphasise the significance of an embodied understanding of the urban environment.
- June 2016 – Brussels (Belgium)
Real and imaginary embodied landscapes | Placing Sounds & Silent Pockets
A walking workshop in the city of Brussels and an indoors workshop in the context of the course “Silent Pockets” (RITCS School of Arts in Brussels, Guy Debievre)
- June 2016 – Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
Silence, Narrative and the Intimacy of the City. An Exhibition.
Between the 20th and 24th of June 2016 an exhibition of the results of the activities of the Urban Emptiness Network was held at the balcony of The ECA Sculpture Court (Edinburgh College of Art – ECA). The exhibition narrated the briefing and execution of workshops that were held in Edinburgh, Athens and Brussels between Frebruary 2016 and June 2016. The presented results of the workshops came from people of different disciplines (arts, architecture, geography, sociology, musicology, performance studies) and unfolded the diversity and interdisciplinarity of the network, the work of which is based on a participatory and reciprocal understanding of the relationship between the participant and the facilitator of a workshop condition. Performative briefs, interactive mappings with personal and collective narratives, performative projects and experiential readings of the different cities were just a few of the elements displayed in the exhibition.
- September 2016 – Volos (Greece)
Christos Kakalis, Stella Mygdali, Geert Vermeire, “Briefing Urban Atmospheric Workshops: Stirring the Vagueness of the In-Between”, a paper presented in the Third International Congress on Ambiances Ambience Tomorrow (Ambiances International Network & University of Thessaly, Volos-Greece, url: http://www.ambiances.net/congresses/volos-2016-international-congress-future-of-ambiances.html, http://ambiances2016.arch.uth.gr/en/ )
- October 2016 (New York, Athens)
“Virtual Blind Date: Being in Two Place at Once” Walks.
This “Virtual Blind Date with the Other: Being in Two Places at Once” project investigates our global collective imaginaries and the role that technologies can play in constructing and reconstructing them. A collaboration between Lydia Matthews’ students from Parsons School of Design at The New School and performance artist Adonis Volanakis’ students from the Drama School, Athens Academy in Athens, Greece, we paired students on both sides of the ocean and challenged them to recognize their limited stereotypical notions of New York City and Athens–as well as to defy these through the act of walking together. Their final goal was to create walks that would take place in real time, “seducing” their dates into understanding what makes their own city worth living in.
How do we envision a city that is–and is not–based on our mediated memories (e.g., what we’ve been taught in school, read in books, seen in films or on television)? How does getting to know a local guide challenge, deepen or overturn our stereotypical preconceptions of the “Other”, especially when they provide us with an alternative walking experience of the place they call “home”? This month-long project used Skype classroom sessions, snail-mail postal exchange (hand crafted “love letters” from Athens and NYC), private Facebook dialogues and ultimately “Facetime” phone technologies to facilitate an intimate exchange between small teams of students who began “dating” one another for the duration of the project. By documenting and sharing their urban walks–some retrospectively and some in real time through phone technologies– they revealed their tastes, desires and thoughts about the reality of their daily lives to each other, thereby highlighting what they value most about the cities they inhabit.