Non-Place / Place

Based on the writings of French anthropologist Marc Augé, taking place at Judson Church in New York on Sunday and Monday, November 25 & 26, 2012, this sonic exchange was created by Daniel Neumann and Gill Arno with global and local sound artists and musicians.

Excerpt 1 of the performance
Excerpt 2 of the performance
Excerpt 3 of the performance

Daniel Neumann and Gill Arno invited and received, from several international phonographers, field recordings that represented the concept of non-place as articulated by French anthropologist Marc Augé.
Augé's concept of non-place is based on his observation that airports, railway stations, leisure parks, hotel chains, and supermarkets, for examples, are places of transience that are not significant enough to us to be considered places in our lives. They are non-places because they do not relate to us, or contain a history that we share, or have an identity that is ours, whereas we have a relationship and feel a history and identity with what we think of as places in our lives.
The field recordings that Daniel Neumann and Gill Arno invited were cataloged according to the places at which they were recorded, then, through the placement of loudspeakers, arranged and played in the space of Judson Church as an installation representing an acoustic topology.
On Sunday evening, in the first concert, local musicians performed improvisationally to change the acoustic topology of the space by relating the sounds of their performances to the sounds of the installation.
During the day on Monday, Neumann and Arno added sounds that were recorded during the concert of the night before, slowly and steadily creating a new topological sound space.
On Monday evening, during the second concert, once again the local musicians performed sounds, once again finding relationships with the new topological space.
The sequence of events gives an acoustic model for how we relate to new topologies of non-places in our lives. In Augé's words, "Non-places are the real measure of our time ..." They suggest a perspective of, as he calls it, supermodernity, in which travelers feel part of a larger world yet feel solitude, as if they are always yet never at home.


Concept and realization by Daniel Neumann and Gill Arno.
New York participants: Andrew Lafkas, Ben Owen, Dave Ruder, Jason Brogan, Jennifer Grossman, Jim Altieri, Leif Sundstrom, Madeleine Shapiro, Rachelle Rahme, Richard Kamerman, Sean Meehan, Theres Wegmann.
International participants: Alan Courtis, Bernd Schurer, Ernst Karel, Estherb, Gil Sanson, Gilles Aubry, Jason Kahn, Joda Clément, John Grzinich, Jordan Paul, Martin Janicek, Pali Mersault, Patrick Franke, Patrick McGinley, Sebastien Roux, Simon Whetham.