2011 _ 005 Urban Songline (Latitude: 35.182182° N - 35.182141° N / Longitude: 126.888579° E - 126.888702° E) - Gwangju Design Biennale 2011, Gwangju, South Korea

To enable the architecture to be listened to whenever needed, the site-specific structure of the Communities Section of the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale, the On-Site Hub, was interpreted during a live performance as a musical score derived from its shape. Sound is generated using local elements of tradition, myth and folklore, in this case contemporary Korean dance creating an Urban Songline that will remain in the space.

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Part of the project Urban Songlines, a utopian/dystopian series of collaborative translations of buildings, urban structures and public spaces into music through site-specific sound-generation inspired by the tradition of the Songlines, a system for relating to-, mapping of- and caring for their land among Aboriginal Australians. These performances are a way of connecting to places by listening to them as well as a research into how we use and experience the public domain and to what degree we can claim ownership over it, discussing notions of inclusion, becoming and belonging..

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The recorded sounds of the body of the dancer describing the shape of the structure are translated into music and played back into the space and to the performer who improvises to it completing the cycle of input / response in / to the space.

A performance in which the seating blocks in front of the stage form a representation of the mountain Mudeungsan that functions as a refuge for the citizens of Gwangju from the trauma of the bloody student riots of May 18th 1980. A dancer moves to a backdrop of pictures taken on the mountain. The two-step stage is the mountain (outside) and the representation of the city (inside), keeping in mind the origins (5000 years ago) of Korean dance as a Shamanic practice.

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Choreography and dance: Byung Hwa Kim (Now Dance Company)

Architects On-Site Hub: nOffice

Curators Community Section: Helen Choi . Beatrice Galilee . Jean Im

Videography: Sung Jun Yoo

Still Photography: Sung Bo Shim

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Urban Songlines Gwangju was realised with generous support from the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture.


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