Sound scenography - auditory communication in the staging of spaces

workshop series / seminar / overview
One of the primary purposes for staging spaces like museum exhibitions, brand exhibitions, flagship stores, etc. is communication on the various levels, including the factual, the contextual, the emotional, the imagined, and the bodily felt. Even in ordinary architecture, gardens, shopping malls, streets, restaurants, or doctor’s practices, various communication dimensions are implied. Also, the sonic dimension of immersive media environments such as virtual reality or 360° film can be analyzed and approached from the perspective of communication. In the practice of staging space, we usually consider the visual part of communication first. But what do we know about communication through sound? What role plays our auditory experience, and how can we use the potential of sound in the context of the scenographic practice, for staging spaces?

A common approach to assess and address sound issues in staged spaces is thinking from technical equipment and the most recent technological developments. Here, the leading question is what technology enables us to do with sound. In contrast, I will offer a phenomenological perspective and develop a thinking that starts from experience, opening up a whole new world of possibilities for the scenographic practice.

This master class brings together ideas and knowledge useful to everyone involved with the production of space. We will address the problems we are often facing with sound in the production of space, offer new perspectives to think differently about the role of listening and discover what we can do to create spaces and environments that involve and inspiring our ears in a meaningful way. As the approach to auditory communication applies to the staging of any space we can experience with our senses, this master class is relevant to professionals from many fields, including media production, exhibition making, architecture, interior design, live communication, tourism, health and rehabilitation, urban planning, gardening, film making, or virtual and mixed realities.

The master class is structured into 6 Zoom-sessions, with a duration of 4 hours each. After laying out a theoretical and conceptual foundation of the field, we will focus on various aspects of the production of space, including the analysis of a given space, concept development, content production, technical planning, realization, & evaluation. This includes several activities, such as analytical listening, sound walks, experimental space interventions, readings, presentations, and discussions. Moreover, the participants will be introduced to tools which they can use in their everyday work, e.g., the analysis of auditory communication or the simulation and prototyping of concepts. While the Zoom-sessions' participation requires a high level of active contribution already, participants are expected to commit to additional 1-2 days for doing homework and for preparing for the next meeting. Finally, all participants are invited to join a 2-day hands-on workshop in Spain, where the acquired knowledge and skills will be applied and explored in an experimental intervention in found spaces.

This master class is part of the educational program of the spæs lab, and developed by sound scenographer Johannes Scherzer.

© All rights reserved and intellectual property owned by the authors. October, 2020