a.vacui
audio walk, KUNSTPLÄTZE (competition process), Bern, 2018



image: Beat Schweizer


The work resulted from an in-depth research process on the history and development of a district
of the city of Bern. It was produced as part of the competition KUNSTPLÄTZE for art in public space.
In a first step of the research process, text excerpts from prose, poetry and theory were collected that
have the potential to establish a connection with some of the sites or the neighbourhood or point to
certain aspects and situations. The texts were read by the artist on site in order to initiate a possible
exchange with the local residents.

This research led to the audio walk; visitors walk together along a fixed, guided route that leads
through public and semi-private or private space; through the streets, across squares, courtyards,
through gardens or supermarkets. Simultaneously, the participants hear a voice through the headphones
that connects different thoughts; text fragments that are interwoven to form a whole; excerpts from
literature and poetry, as well as texts that refer directly to the neighbourhood and its everyday life as
anecdotes and stories that evoke images. They explore the question of how space influences perception
and behavior. Topics such as private property and public space, physical and social boundaries are touched
upon. The audio level directs the listener's attention and thus shifts his perception to the neighbourhood;
it changes the view of the familiar surroundings and everyday processes. During the walk one
approaches the neighbourhood mentally and physically, one walks from the vast, unbuild Mittelfeld,
through crowded Mittelstrasse, to "Mittelplatz", from real to fictional places.

Audio full length: