The environment in which individuals and communities coexist and interact may be a source for both utopian and dystopian narratives. For example, an environment—a neighborhood—could be defined spatially as a specific geographic area, or in its function as a set of social networks.
What may be the components of a neighborhood giving it utopian or dystopian character? Its physical environment, inhabitants, communities or its relationship with other neighborhoods? Is there permeability between utopian and dystopian ideals based on the dynamics of these components? How does one’s proximity, affinity or attachment to a neighborhood affect the utopian or dystopian characterization of other neighborhoods?
Inhabited Neighborhoods realizes a situation where diverse soundscapes exist together as inhabitants of the physical space, as distinct sonorities acting as ›sound neighborhoods.‹ Different speaker arrays, contrasting sound spectra, and motion and visual imagery exposed by the sonorities define the borders of the neighborhoods. The physical space acts as a medium to remind us of these borders, yet allow transitions from one to another. The output is a sound installation questioning the apparently sharp but practically blurred differentiation between utopian and dystopian projections.
Sair Sinan Kestelli (TR) works on electronic music composition, performance and new digital musical instrument design. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Sonic Arts Program of Istanbul Technical University and part of the electronic music duo Mondual. www.sairsinankestelli.com
Photo: Alev Kestelli