Click here for audio of the "soundchains" produced by player-participants in Makrinitsa and Athens.
Soundchain is an interactive sound game based on a sci-fi story.
Players are invited to imagine themselves as residents of a future space and time, sent to Earth to perform a vital mission: re-discover and collectively re-construct a soundscape whose memory has disappeared. The game is based on co-creation rather than on competition. The challenge is to seek out and record a unique sonic element to add to a collectively built chain of recordings. Soundchain loops indefinitely. Players must first listen carefully to the existing sequence, the soundchain constructed by their co-players so far, in the attempt to capture the specified sonic environment. The loop evolves in a dynamic user generated soundscape. In its seemingly random form, particular snippets of engagement with the immediate environment and fellow players emerge. Individual players act as part of an abstract, yet intimate collective that interacts with the physical/digital world through a process of careful listening and sound recording.
Soundchain is based on the allegory of blockchain and the structure of data in our contemporary digital worlds, as well as on the psychic-physical notion of sound as memory. Sound, in some of its forms, can be another block of data. It can also serve as a portal to another time and space. In consideration of the recent paradigm of blockchain as an open and distributed way of organizing data, we propose the Soundchain: a public sensorial data sequence that does not break. It only grows, as long as players engage.
Through the game, players not only get familiar with data forms and structures, but also creatively contribute to them, as they are encouraged to explore the sonic environment, and hence their environment more broadly, in unconventional ways. The act of listening is intensified, as the microphone enhances the auditory focus and reveals detailed facets of surroundings, previously thought as mundane. At the same time, players are invited to carefully listen to the input of the others. This way, the dynamics of individual and collective creative patterns are creatively explored.
Soundchain is also an engagement with the production of the archive and the impossibility of capturing everything that composes our environment. Players are confronted with the selectivity of what counts as data, with the difference between the recorded soundchain loop and immediate sonic experience. What becomes data and who produces them? Can the entire sonic memory be recaptured? The sci-fi narrative of Soundchain allows us to creatively re-imagine (our) urban presents and futures through sonic environments and their (ir)reproducibility, collectively constructing a sound archive, while we speculate on the various archival processes in the era of the [data]base.
Gatou Ismini, PhD student, Department of Cultural Technology and Communication, University of the Aegean
Iashvili Nanuka, BA Economics, Politics, and Social Thought, Bard College Berlin
Karadedos Tasos, Sound Designer - Cultural Anthropologist
Koukouladakis Antonios, BA in Social Anthropology, Panteion University
Lazaridou Eirini, PhD Candidate - Researcher, Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Thessaly
Mulvaney Kelly, Researcher - Translator, Eipcp - European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, PhD student, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago
Smith Nicholas, PhD Student, Anthropology, University of Toronto
Valajärvi Anni, BA in Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki, MA student
Vardouli Eftychia, Cultural Manager - Researcher, MA Panteion University, BA Economic Science AUEB