Programme workshop symposium

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Silence, Narrative and the Intimacy of the City. A Workshop Symposium 15 February 2016 – 19 February 2016 Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture – Edinburgh College of Art

The Workshop Symposium is part of a wider project entitled Urban Emptiness ( that suggests an interdisciplinary investigation of emptiness and silence in contemporary cities. The aim is to highlight the importance of real and imaginary/hidden landscapes in the urban environment and explore different conditions of intimacy in their understanding. The symposium involves different methodological strategies and its scope is to contribute to the discourse about the social, educational, financial, ecological and cultural value of an experiential/performative understanding of silence and emptiness in urban life. Acknowledging the significance of the contribution of diverse groups of people in its results, this event invites university students from different departments (art, architecture, media & performance studies, cultural studies, music, literature) and local citizens in its actions. Through an intensely interdisciplinary approach it explores the contribution of performative and immersive techniques and technologies and new media to the experiential understanding of the city of Edinburgh and its documentation/mapping. Performance events or performative actions can open up possibilities in the ways that architecture can involve different communities by performing together. In doing so, they explore innovative methodologies within the creative process that focus on the relation of the body and the physical space, as well as on the immaterial realms of conscious and sensory experience.


INTERWEAVING WALKING ITINERARIES Monday 16 February 2016 – Friday 19 February 2016 Lunch Break for all Workshops: 13.00- 14.00 URBAN BODY led by choreographer MARIELYS BURGOS MELÉNDEZ As part of Urban Emptiness collaborations I propose to explore and deepen in the relationship we establish among body, movement/action, and urban space awareness/intention. Where do we come from? Where have we been? Where do we regularly go? What do we do in the different places we frequent? What is the story or history of those places? Who do we relate to? How does our urban landscape determine our way of moving through space? How does it impact the way we perceive our bodies? How does it define our ways to engage with others? How is the city inscribed in us? How can we engrave a new meaning into the urban landscape? During a week participants will (1) relate to their transit habits by documenting, reflecting, and re-structuring them, while simultaneously (2) engaging in collective walks through the city, (3) documenting the process and (4) generating their own urban landscape/memory. Programme Monday 16.00 – 19.00 [Boardroom – L05, ECA Main Building] Tuesday 10.00 – 12.00 [group walk] Wednesday 10.00 – 12.00 [Room 2.13, Evolution House] 15.30 – 19.30 COMMON ‘PAUSE’ Thursday 10.00 – 13.00 [group walk] Friday 11.00 – 17.00 REVISITING THE WALKING PERFORMATIVE TEXTILE: DOCUMENTATION 17.00 – 19.15 OUTCOMES’ DISCUSSION


THE IMPOSSIBLE INAUDIBLE SOUNDWALK led by KATERINA TALIANI (PhD Candidate in Music, University of Edinburgh) and AKOO-O (Athens, Greece) Drawing on sound studies, sound art and walking as research method and artistic practice, this workshop presents the theory and practice of creating a soundwalk. Participants will be introduced into the cultural aspects of sounds and the complexity of the act of listening in a defined place. This workshop invites participants to question the conceptions of silence and noise and discuss the idea of urban voids and emptiness through collaboration and the application of innovative methodologies. We will use noTours, an open-source software platform for creating site-specific and interactive artworks with the use of locative media technology, developed by The goal is to create a sound map of an area that is understood as an ‘urban void’ and to compose a soundwalk with the use of mobile phones and GPS that will augment the sensorial dimensions of the experience of the city for the participants. Programme Monday 15.45 – 19.30 [Alison House] Tuesday 9.30 – 13.00 and 15.30 – 19.30 [group walk/Alison House] Wednesday 15.30 – 19.30 COMMON ‘PAUSE’ Thursday 9.30 – 13.00 and 15.30 – 19.30 [Alison House] Friday 11.00 – 17.00 REVISITING THE WALKING PERFORMATIVE TEXTILE: DOCUMENTATION 17.00 – 19.15 OUTCOMES’ DISCUSSION


THE PARTHENON. A “BEAUTIFUL RUIN” AND AN UNFINISHED MONUMENT led by artist SOFIA GRIGORIADOU and architect/performer ELLI VASSALOU Built or employed to support national or wider “truths”, official monuments end up doing much more than that: As agents that affect people’s perception of identity, memory and Imaginary [feelings, experiences and lives], they are at the same time subjects to a number of narratives that may change overtime and to a number of acts that take place around and in relation to them. The workshop focuses on two monuments’ symbolism through time, Parthenon in Athens and the National Monument in Edinburgh, their relation to memory, their role in building national myths and the ways residents and visitors experience them today. It also seeks to investigate or establish new connections between them; connections that wish to challenge established perspectives. We invite the participants to a discussion about the impact of both “Parthenons”, as well as their past and current uses; to bring on the table official and unofficial narratives, literature, references in the media, art, personal archives [home videos, photography, notebooks], thoughts and memories. Monuments are no longer considered empty vessels filled just with dominant narratives. The workshop aims to critically approach monuments' impact on residents and visitors, to investigate representations of contemporary and classical Greece in contemporary culture and finally, to reload the monuments with new meanings through art. Programme Monday 17.00 – 20.00 [Seminar Room 5, Minto House] Tuesday 9.30 – 13.30 [group walk] Wednesday 9.30 – 13.30 [Seminar Room 3, Minto House] 15.30 – 19.30 COMMON ‘PAUSE’ Thursday 9.30 – 13.30 [Seminar Room 4, Minto House] Friday 11.00 – 17.00 REVISITING THE WALKING PERFORMATIVE TEXTILE: DOCUMENTATION 17.00 – 19.15 OUTCOMES’ DISCUSSION


PERFORMING SILENCE led by STELLA MYGDALI (PhD Candidate in Architecture, University of Edinburgh) What happens when you shift the focus? The leaders of the various workshops are invited to interact throughout the week by framing situations composed of entangled rhythms, affects and sensations. It will trace episodes of urban emptiness and silence as explored during their workshops by providing a setting where action and time in reality and imagination may unfold through sharing experiences. Focus will be on performative factors such as duration, emotional predispositions and interpersonal dynamics, which are inextricable from the way associations with a particular space are created. The workshop will be looking into the experiences and relations formed in the direct experiential interaction of the facilitators with the city, but also through the narratives of the participants they are working with. Discussing how concepts of space are constructed by tracking subtle processes of everyday activities as well as ideas of fluidity and movement, the workshop aims to enhance the performative communication between the leaders and provide a place for creative encounters of different perspectives. Programme Monday 20.00 – 21.00 [Seminar Room 5, Minto House] Tuesday Wednesday 15.30 – 19.30 COMMON ‘PAUSE’ 19.30 – 21.00 [group walk] Thursday 14.00 – 19.30 Friday 11.00 – 17.00 REVISITING THE WALKING PERFORMATIVE TEXTILE: DOCUMENTATION 17.00 – 19.15 OUTCOMES’ DISCUSSION


RE/READING URBAN EMPTINESS & SILENCE led by CHRISTOS KAKALIS (ESALA, University of Edinburgh) Questioning traditional mapping techniques the action explores the “reading” of urban emptiness and silence, emphasising the documentation of bodily experience and narrative in it. Focus will be on the exploration of the performative or eventual qualities of drawing, writing or even modelling transpositions of an event, situation or performance that is happening or has (just) happened. A sketchbook is designed for this purpose and will be distributed to participants of the different walking workshops to use it as a kind of a diary of their experience. Re/Reading Urban Emptiness and Silence questions the stability and coherence of the narrative of these transpositions. An indoor workshop will take place after the different events (Friday 11.00 – 17.00) on their documentation through studio work on the sketchbooks and other media. Besides the flexibility of its design, the sketchbook will be part of a design process during which the participants will be asked to create a post-narrative of the city read during the workshops. Re-arranging them, destroying parts of them, using moving images, complementing the material with sound and projections on it, working with their blank pages or even re-writing on them will give the opportunity to the participants to redefine the process of reading urban landscape, adding layers of interpretation on it. Programme Monday 15.15 – 15.30 [Distribution of sketchbooks, Boardroom - LO6, ECA Main Building] Tuesday [Sketchbooks carried by the participants] Wednesday [Sketchbooks carried by the participants] 15.30 – 19.30 COMMON ‘PAUSE’ Thursday [Sketchbooks carried by the participants] Friday 11.00 – 17.00 REVISITING THE WALKING PERFORMATIVE TEXTILE: DOCUMENTATION 17.00 – 19.15 OUTCOMES’ DISCUSSION


COMMON ACTIVITIES FOR ALL WORKSHOPS MONDAY 15 FEBRUARY 2016 09.00 – 15.15 PRESENTATIONS Board Room – L05, ECA Main Building 09.00 – 09.30: Registration 09.30 – 11.30: Mood, Performativity and the Urban Experience Silence: What am I supposed to be feeling? Professor Richard Coyne (University of Edinburgh) [Title TBC] Dr Sophia Lycouris (University of Edinburgh) A Silent Walk in Berlin: Excavating Ruins, Voids and Flows Dr Penny Travlou (University of Edinburgh) 11:30 – 11:45 Coffee Break 11:45 – 13:00 [Title TBC] Professor Jonathan Mills (University of Edinburgh) 13:00 – 14:00 Lunch Break 14:00 – 15:15: Background: Theory, Methodology, Discourse Briefing Atmospheric Workshops Christos Kakalis and Stella Mygdali (University of Edinburgh) Augmenting Emptiness Katerina Taliani (University of Edinburgh)

The Parthenon(s). Approaches on a "beautiful ruin" and an unfinished monument Sofia Grigoriadou (Greece) and Elli Vassalou (Brussels) Walking Contexts Marielys Burgos Meléndez (Puerto Rico)


WEDNESDAY 17 FEBRUARY 2016 15.30 – 19.30 COMMON PAUSE Room 1.203, 7 Bristo Square 15.30 – 16.30 "Fading into silence / urban tea ritual" with the performance "Unisono" as a silent prologue Performed by Geert Vermeire and Stefaan van Biesen, artists / the Milena Principle Silence is a connection, a condition that compels or invites to listen. The “Unisono” performance starts as a wordless conversation of which both the performers are a part of a bonding silence. This creates a possibility for an instant conversation out of an awakening whispering, but a conversation is not necessary. It is a ritual silence. Both protagonists represent “silence” through their muteness, their physical presence. If a conversation starts then it is as well a registration of their “inner landscape”, a field of silence. The tea ritual wants to connect people through silence in a speechless being together and sharing. The host is a medium of silence who hands on a wordless way “connection”, “care”, “attention for each other”,”hospitality for strangers”, “equality”, “social aesthetics”, “utopian ideas of democracy”, “the sensoriality of tasting and degustation”, relating through water and tea with nature (as a rediscovery of nature and becoming part of it), the ceremony as an ecological and symbolical ritual. 16.30 – 19.30 Discussion between leaders and participants of all workshops


FRIDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2016 9.30 – 11.00 PRESENTATIONS Hunter Lecture Theatre 09.30 – 11:00 The Empty City Urban Silence and Emptiness Berit Ellingsen (Norway) Silent Pockets Guy de Bievre (Online Presentation from a Parallel Action in Brussels) Prof Giorgos Parmenides and Olga Ioannou (Online Presentation from a Parallel Action in Athens) 16.00-16.30 Jason O’ Shaughnessy (MArch Studio Projects, Cork Centre for Architectural Education) 11.30 – 19.15 REVISITING THE WALKING PERFORMATIVE TEXTILE: DOCUMENTATION OUTCOMES’ DISCUSSION J.03 Lauriston Campus, ECA

Find us ECA Main Building and Hunter Building 74 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9DF Evolution House 78 West Port, Edinburgh, EH1 2LE Alison House 12 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh EH8 9DF Minto House 20-22 Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JZ