Listeners are offered an interactive experience: contextualizing a non-functional space through sound, turn it into an imaginary place — their own zone of comfort/discomfort.
The project is inspired by the concepts, research and situated sonic practices by R. Murray Schafer, Bernhard Leitner, Michael Bull, Gordon Hempton, Max Neuhaus, Alvin Curran, Gascia Ouzounian and Theatrum Mundi. It also processes and repurposes the ideas introduced by Saskia Sassen, Jan Gehl, Ash Amin, Nigel Thrift, Henri Lefebvre, Paolo Virno, Marc Augé, Manuel Castells.
Finding a comfort zone or escaping from it creates new places and leaves others orphaned. While some cities are turning into ruins, others are barely finding space for new residents. Is it possible to appropriate someone else’s place, reproducing the sounds of your native environment in it? Is it possible to take the sound of home with you? Will the city be the same if it loses its voice? Is it possible to construct a place on the principle of musical composition? What happens to the space deprived of human/production/transport/information flows? What is the connection between urban areas and the hybrid identities of their residents?
Article 33 of the Constitution of Ukraine guarantees freedom of movement and the right of free choice of place of residence to every citizen.
According to the UN, in 2017, there were 5.9 million migrants from Ukraine in the world.
As a result of the 2020 pandemic, approximately 300,000 workers returned to Ukraine.
As of September 2020, 1,457,665 internally displaced persons were registered in Ukraine. For them, it is forced migration as a result of hostilities or land seizure.
Active urbanization in Ukraine began in the late 19th century. Today the level of urbanization is 69.47%, urban population growth — – 0.35%.
The web version of the project offers a list of field recordings that listeners may combine simultaneously in any order and any place around them. There is also an option to hear these sounds in the virtual acoustics of the abandoned buildings. By clicking on one of the buildings, you may listen to the sounds with the particular space’s added reverb.
Soundscapes recorded in Kyiv, Rome, Beijing and Kathmandu by: Mariana Savchenko, Sun Lei, Sylvain Martinez, Alëna Olasyuk, Zhang Wenjie, Liu Jie, Sasha Stekolenko.
Sound design: Mariana Savchenko
Photo: Nikolay Podolskiy, Mariana Savchenko
Video: Danyil Pinko
In Kyiv alone, hundreds of pre-revolutionary or Soviet-era ghost buildings have fallen into disrepair, lost their function, and turned into non-places, patiently awaiting restoration, reconstruction or demolition. Some of them are sites of regional or national importance.
We recorded impulse response and sampled the acoustic space (convolution reverb) of the city’s abandoned buildings. We have also collected the soundscapes of four historically significant ancient capital cities: Beijing, Kathmandu, Kyiv, and Rome.
By choosing one of the buildings, the listeners have an option to fill its acoustic space with the natural or human-made sounds from the list to contextualize it by themselves. Thus, the space deprived of its original purpose can be transformed into an imaginary place: a house, a studio, a school, a construction site, a transport hub, natural habitat, a place of worship or leisure, or a hybrid of them all generated by a listener’s imagination.
The sounds list on this page includes original recordings with no reverb added.
Please, use headphones for better effect and combine the recordings.
5/14, Volos’ka street.
The house used to have many functions with warehouses in the basement, shops and living quarters on the ground floor and apartment on the second floor. In Soviet times, there was a post office. Historicism. Monument of architecture.
19, Turgenevska street.
The house was built by the project of architect I. Agurov. Before the 1917 Revolution, the 3-floor building was used as an apartment house with two apartments on each floor; there was also a stone barn with cellars, laundry, and a “stone closet”. From the 1920-s to the 1980-s, it was used for the communal apartments. Considered a damaged facility for the past 33 years. Historicism, Neo-Renaissance. Monument of architecture.
29A, Turivska street.
The 3-floor building in the historical part of Podil. Entrance from the backyard.
15 A, Reytarska street.
Cylinder-shaped Neomodern building was designed by renowned Soviet architects V. Shevchenko and A. Miletskyi as a part of the Writers Union Health Centre. In recent times, the building hosted the SPA center. Lately, it has been used as a temporary art space and now is being renovated to become a food court.
20 B, Heorhiia Gongadze Avenue.
Ambitious project of famous architect E. Bilskyi. House of Culture at newly-planned residential massive Vynohradar at that time was supposed to host two concert halls, cinema, numerous passages, and rooms, situated on four floors of the intricate architectural geometry. Construction stopped in 1992.