About the project
How is sound connected to our sense of place? Can sound re-sensitize us to our experience of a space? Sound of X presents video soundscapes from artists around the world who share experiences of the city through its sounds.
Digital culture and especially social media have brought a shift towards the visual. Often, however, an image refers only to itself, and we are unable to establish any relation to what is shown. At a time in which screen culture is becoming increasingly desensitizing, the artists of Sound of X take up alternative approaches to visual and acoustic perception.
In the context of our urban environment, sounds can emerge from the ambient noise which, although invisible, hold many things together: the musicality of everyday life and the often ignored soundtrack of a city that reveals or reflects its characteristic social fabric.
We are constantly immersed in the soundscape of our urban environment; sometimes louder, sometimes softer, but ever present in its uniqueness. What is noise? What is sound? And how can we listen in a different way? These are some of the questions the artists explore in Sound of X.
Bird song merges with the clatter of a mailbox. Bubbling and sizzling street woks join the beat of an electronic soundtrack. A bike ride becomes a visual exploration of a city, winding through the messy traffic and the cacophony of noises. These short video soundscapes reveal unusual perspectives to the familiar settings of our cities. For others, they can provide virtually immersive atmosphere of a place they cannot visit for the time being.
Sound of X was initiated by the Goethe-Institut as an international, digital project before the coronavirus crisis struck. Since then, through artistic contributions from all over the world, the project has grown to include a second phase with East Asia, and now, its third and final phase. The global pandemic intensified both our estrangement from one another, as well as a deep desire to connect with each other through whatever available means. This ethos remains at the heart of the project, with each artist being invited to capture their hometown in a short video, without words, solely on the basis of sounds, and local acoustics that are condensed into a musical work.
The resulting video soundscapes address diverse urban and cultural identities, across different localities in regional and global contexts, each performing its own sonic complexity and perspective on their urban environment.
In times of isolation, reconnection, upheaval, and change, Sound of X offers a unique way to return to distant places and see them anew through artistic contributions.