THE DREAMERS – A participatory art project for Drisat Regel Festival Tel-Aviv/Jaffa/Lod May 2017

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| A participatory sound art project by:

Paz Ponce (Spanish curator) | In collaboration with: Eran Eizenhamer (Israeli architect)

| Project frame:
Drisat Regel Festival – B_Tours Tel-Aviv/Jaffa/Lod
17 – 20 May 2017

P.A.R.T.1 Festival Partizipativer Kunst in Berlin
25.08.17 – 03.10.17

| Cooperation partners: 
Jindas Urban Regeneration Lod, Center for Contemporary Art Tel-Aviv, Artport Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, Agora Collective e.V. (Berlin) and B_Tour (Berlin).

| Supported by:
Mifal HaPais Council for the Culture and Arts, and The German Israeli Future Fund (Stiftung Deutsch-Israelische Zukunftsforum) and Artport.

| Keywords:
#psycho-geography,#walterbenjamin,#perception, #dreams,#immigration,
#mixed-urban-environments, #flâneur,#orality,#archive,#community,#radio

| Links:

| Project references*:

A project inspired by works of German authors
Walter Benjamin and G.C.Lichtenberg.

Working report: 

In September 2016 I was invited to participate in a tandem exchange program of cultural producers happening between Lod (Israel) and Neukölln (Berlin, Germany), specifically focusing in the implementation of participatory art strategies in mixed urban environments. For the first chapter of this international cooperation kindly supported by the German-Israeli Future Funds, I am developing in collaboration with Israeli architect Eran Eizenhamer a COMMUNITY RADIO ARCHIVE OF DREAMS.

The project is called THE DREAMERS, which proposes a walk through the historic city of Lod based on a collection of oral stories involving the dreams of several generations of its residents. We borrowed some thoughts from German jewish cultural critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin, who believed that dreaming participates in history too, and from scientist and philosopher G.C. Lichtenberg, who wondered  why our whole history is only that of awake men? How come nobody ever considered a history of sleeping men?

So we considered these thoughts and reframed these questions in the form of an archive of dreams, inviting the public later to experience the city through the unconscious lens of the others. In this project Eran and I are interested in playing with the ambiguity of the word “dream” (in Hebrew, Arabic, English and German), and we will ask people to recall a specific one. The resulting collection of oral stories will be then assembled in a community radio format, as one line of voices in different languages – mixing events, projections, desires, fictional and future scenarios and mindscapes in the liminal space between the real and the surreal.

For us it’s important to vocalize all these coexisting layers of narration and visions of life attached to our daily conversational routines, and we want to open a time to fade to simple things: like the acts of listening and imagining. Empathic minimal gestures which can become incredibly powerful political dialogues, depending on the context where the question is formulated: can you tell me a dream?

The project focuses on  Ramat Eshkol, a neighbourhood in the mixed jewish-arab city of LOD/LYDDA, 15km southeast of Tel Aviv originated by several historic waves of immigrants and political exiles. After long standing inter-ethnical clashes, integration struggles and equality challenges that emerged in these areas, these communities who live side by side for generations often ask themselves: what do we have in common?

Well, we propose to start with dreams.

In a context of intergenerational migration stories, THE DREAMERS appropriates the etymological parallelism of movement implicit between the active subject of the immigrant and the way he/she takes (in German “Die Einwanderer” is the migrant, the walker in or towards a direction), therefore the choice to publish this dreamers’ archive as a 30 minutes (sleep)walk through a specific route. With this identification, we want to add “walking” alongside the acts of “listening” and “imagining” as simple yet powerful forms of (political) dialogue.

THE DREAMERS COMMUNITY RADIO will be later made available online (Soundcloud) and shared with the public through an interactive walk. Supported by a map with an index of dreams and places, the walkers will (sleep) walk through the city of Lod arriving at Khan El Hilu (a former caravansary, an inn for travelers and merchants from the Ottoman Era located at the core of the medieval city of Lydda). At this resting point festival participants will be invited to tell a dream of their own and add it to THE DREAMERS community radio channel.

An important aspect of this project is that we do not offer translations, all recordings will be anonymous, just a voice in the air where the focus lies in the rhythmic oral qualities of the storytelling act. We want to avoid the unavoidable editorial interferences and projections of the self implicit in every translation act. But an interesting challenge of this project from the beginning is that neither Eran or I speak the respective local languages where one of the parts of the project happens (Hebrew, Arab, German, Turkish). For this we will keep THE DREAMING DIARY NOTES, which is a dialogue between us about the content of the dreams created alongside the dream collection phases happens in both Israel and Germany. These diary notes will be transcribed as comments to the Soundcloud uploaded tracks of our COMMUNITY RADIO. What initially began as a communication handicap will now add an interesting layer to the project, where we continue reflecting on the acts of listening and imagining in daily conversational routines and furthermore a situation where the acts of translation stand as a collective task, allowing the community of listeners to write their own impressions and translations if they wish to do so, becoming a sort of collective dreaming score. The afterlife of this archive of dreams online is very important for us.

*See full project dossier with info on the working phases, local associations we are collaborating with, interesting information on the technical equipment of Binaureal Recording we are using for the archive and to get to know more about the history of the places we are working at. Also to see an original drawing of our ears.

The Dreamers – Participatory Sound Art Project Israel:Germany

Our profiles:

eran oreja

Architect & Education Director at the White City Center Tel Aviv


Curator, Art historian & Art Educator

paz oreja

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