Air Free 2 - In Thessaloniki

Authors: Karathanasopoulou, E.

Dates: 17-24 May 2019


The Air Free project is presented for a 3rd time in a third iteration. This time the work is installed inside the intimate space of a tent inside the LABattoir space.

As an academic researcher and audio practitioner, one of my main interests is understanding the intimate qualities of radiophony. The radio voice, this fragment of a person that one does not know, may contain some of their most intimate qualities.

In this project a space is created that simulates the unseen intimacies of the airwaves. Here, voices will meet and converse privately yet freely, not only with words but with the intimacy of the voice as pure sound.

The voices in this artwork were collected in Thessaloniki-Greece and Carlisle-United Kingdom.

The anonymous Greek-speaking voices were collected by the Media Lab group in Thessaloniki after a workshop I delivered. The aim here was for local people to bring me the voices of their community, rather than me selecting these as an outsider who might carry preconceptions.

The English-speaking voices belong to poets from the Speak Easy poetry group in Carlisle. The poets were sent audio clips of the voices from Greece along with a single poem I wrote deriving from the content of the stories collected in Thessaloniki. The poets were asked to write poems as responses to these voices. Despite only listening to voices they could not understand and my poem only being a very abstract representation of those voices, the poets in Carlisle absolutely captured the essence of those stories and provided very emotive responses.

I edited these voices together in a conversation that reveals how the intricacies, fears, aspirations of distant communities might be much closer than they seem. The voices in this artwork are an intimate aural tapestry of all those things that we have in common.

Source: Manual