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SWS20 2020


Vilharjeva cesta, Ljubljana, Slovenia
30 minutes
Sound walk

Meditative experience, wakefulness training and encouragement to critically thinking about our experience and (re)evaluation of the surrounding environment.

A walk along the railway tracks, with the help of an app and headphones, leads a viewer, a wanderer and an eavesdropper into a performative space. The work was created during the time of the epidemic when all public life had come to a standstill. As a result, the thick layer of the all-encompassing and constant noise disappeared, the existence of which we only really became aware of once it was gone. The authors captured this period, marked by weeks of silence and the gradual return of noise, with their recording equipment, walked paths and by discovering local microspaces. The result of their research is the existent locative performance, which, through the absence of noise, tells a tale of a future space. By using geolocation tools, the performance reflects on an experiential experience of landscape and sound and, in these complicated times, brings forth thoughts about the potential of a degraded space from the perspective of a society incapable of dialogue. The latter is using its last atoms of strength to depict dominance over the planet, while plants on the other side are blossoming, intertwining and even consoling, soothing, silencing and covering the all-pervasive species. The rhythm of walking, listening-in to the transitional space, a path that leads away from the overburdened city, and of listening to the degraded, waiting spaces, which are being taken back by nature, form the stance of this period of time … before it ends.

The authors have developed the work with the help of the geolocation tool ECHOES, developed by Echoes Lab. More than 30 geolocation points, connected by sound files and in combination with the available navigation tools, form the subtle dramaturgy of the overall acoustic image of the work Sandbox at a specific location.

THE SANDBOX … before the expiration (text for reading ENGL version)

Walking down the tracks, down the tracks, down the tracks, down the tracks

I’m walking down the railroad tracks
by the central train station.
I’m walking in the public space
I’m walking in the private space
in the conflicted space.

Walking down the tracks, down the tracks, down the tracks, down the tracks

I am walking in the degraded urban area
that is incapable of dialogue.
I’m walking on top of the communication shaft by the tracks.
Steps, signals, waves, fluctuations…
To the west. To a retreat.

down the tracks, down the tracks, down the tracks, down the tracks,

I’m walking down the tracks,
the time after the interrupted public life, audible as a thick layer of constant noise.
The time after a pause in the thrum,
The time after the interrupted hum.
The time after a pause, a planet with no silence

The noise resumes, resumes, resumes.

I’m watching myself taking steps on top of the communication shaft,
a narrow, straight line, winding down the tracks.
I’m listening to the echoes of my steps resounding from the concrete,
walking on top of the shaft.
The steps, signals, waves, fluctuations …
a steady rhythm by the tracks
away from the stressed-out city.

down the tracks, down the tracks, down the tracks, down the tracks,

In the beginning of May,
there was a wild rose blooming underneath the acacia trees
everything felt empty and silent
… A sense of remoteness

Here, in this space,
those roaring and droning sounds are not as loud.
A silenced space, in the middle of the city
an awaiting public space
an awaiting parking place
an awaiting sandbox of political games … nearly silent.
An awaiting space of potential

The peaceful atmosphere is disturbed by the sounds of the train, the air plane, birds flying over, a seagull squealing, wings flapping …

This area by the tracks smells differently,
in this degraded, transitional space
nature has taken its place.
This space of potential
smells differently.

Over there,
close to the embankment, there were poppies blooming in spring.
In spring, everything was quiet here, silent.
…A sense of silence.

The tracks, roads, signals, transmitters, receivers
…and in-between them confined spaces
People enjoy being in more places at once
People occupy too many spaces at once.
The wanton occupiers of spaces.
We, the wanton occupiers of spaces, have reached our planet’s limits.

We have lost the sensitivity for the surrounding landscape.
Forgotten about the time we need to walk through a space.
To look at the horizon
to listen to the atmosphere
to feel the environment

The wanton occupiers of space have reached the planetary edge.
The limits of our planet.

down the tracks, down the tracks, down the tracks, down the tracks

The proximity of trees, the proximity of plants
The noise they absorb, the fragrance they emit, the light they catch
they calm us down

I’m walking in the sandbox in the city centre
over the parking lot of a failed dialogue
the awaiting, vast space gives a fine view of the city skyline,
of the towers of power and prestige

In these times of uncertainty
with the world split into worlds and places, into states and cities,
this walking,
this listening to the environment
this listening to the lone, distant spaces that feel so close
this searching
of removed spaces and new paths…
this walk through the undefined, degraded spaces
become … become a solace for this time…before the expiration.
Discovering the surrounding, local landscape is a must right now … before the expiration.

down the tracks, down the tracks, down the tracks, down the tracks

Maybe /perhaps, someday, there may be a field right here.
A vast meadow with a view.
This space in the city centre, this traffic hub, this sandbox, this space of potential
will be overgrown by vegetation.
The plants, the dominant life form
It’s plants that rule the planet. They are the true rulers of the planet.

Maybe /perhaps, someday, there will be a green field here in this degraded place
a vast meadow with a view.
The trees will cloak the open skyline of the city.
This undefined space of waiting will be softened by the grasslands.
Maybe, someday, a self-grown meadow will be spread out here.

A pathway will be winding up along the communication shaft.
The rustling of the leaves will drown out the steady hum and roar.
The city’s sonic identity will soften.
A sense of silence will develop.
Maybe, someday, there will be a meadow right there.

Far behind the embankments, behind the acacia trees and the knotweed
there is a former park with a narrow, overgrown half-circle path
a sense of remoteness

Someday, Žalik žena will be walking here,
Žalik žena of the days to come,
bearing skills of sensitivity;
to hear the space.
to see the horizon.
to perceive the environment.

Someday, Žalik žena will be walking here,
Žalik žena of the days to come
she’ll use walking as an instrument
to hear the environment
to see the space
to perceive nature
to connect with everything around.

Someday, Žalik žena will be walking here,
Žalik žena of the days to come
sharing this sensitivity for co-existence;
with the landscape
with vegetation
with an overcrowded dying species.

Someday, Žalik žena will be singing
a song about the devastated ecosystems
about failed dialogues
about too narrow horizons
about long journeys
about silence
A song about the planetary edge, about the planetary edge

Žalik žena will be singing for a sense of sensitivity…before the expiration
Žalik žena will be singing for a sense of sensitivity…before the expiration

Someday, Žalik žena will be walking here
in this space, in this self-grown garden of the days to come
walking in memory, in piety, amidst the plants, across the meadow…
over the densely overgrown garden of the days to come.
In this garden, she’ll listen to the crickets.
In this garden, she’ll listen to the crickets.

Sandbox (excerpt) by Irena Pivka & Brane Zorman (4.00min)

CC-BY-ND-NC: Irena Pivka


Hosted by: Ljudmila and Cona institute

APA style reference

Pivka, I., & Zorman, B. (2020). SandBox. walk · listen · create.
Irena Pivka

Irena Pivka

Brane Zorman

Brane Zorman



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Possible ways of listening and sound integration of space and time

Irena Pivka and Brane Zorman, cofounders at Cona institute in Ljubljana, and shortlisted for the Sound Walk September 2020 Awards for their work Sandbox, discuss Sound walks as contemporary art practice: possible ways of listening and sound integration of space and time.

3 thoughts on “SandBox

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diddies, ditties

Walking in your sleep crying and bawling from a nightmare, as in “You were up with the ditties again last night.” from the Dictionary of Newfoundland English (University of Toronto Press, 1982).

Added by Marlene Creates

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