What is it about?
FontainaSound is a participatory project launched by the City of Brussels, at the Place Fontainas (in the centre of Brussels, between the Bourse and the Midi Station) and designed to leave a sound artwork there for ten years.
The Transcultures team holds workshops, meetings, artistic events,... with the participation of residents and local actors, on behalf of the City of Brussels. This team has a lot of experience in the field of sound arts in an urban environment.
Future sound content will be mainly created by Transcultures, with content collected from the neighborhood around the Place Fontainas. This mainly revolves around the cultural, social and linguistic diversity that characterizes the neighborhood (with the help of residents, neighborhood committees, associations and various local actors). The poetic dimension is also promoted.
The sound content is regularly updated over a period of 10 years (including through workshops with local residents, events, calls for participation and contributions from other sound makers,...). The sounds are broadcast through one or more urban artistic interventions or urban furniture that will be installed at the Place Fontainas from 2022. Certain sound content will also be available on the Internet, accessible via tablets and smartphones.
Giving the Place Fontainas an identity, creating connections through a participatory project involving both the residents of the neighborhood and associations over a long period of time, strengthening social cohesion, bringing communities and generations together in an area at the crossroads of different neighborhoods and which is also the entrance to the pedestrian zone.
Audio content broadcast
The preliminary design, which will be handed over to the City by Transcultures in mid-2021, contains a sound diffusion prototype. The sounds are integrated into artistic creations or urban furniture. The most important thing is that no 'noise' is added to the sound environment of the Place Fontainas.
The system is based on proximity: a series of small boxes are placed within the walls of the artistic creation(s) or urban furniture. For example, to hear the sound content you will either have to stick your ear to the city work(s) or use small cones (or form a similar object or cone with your hands). In this way, the sound content can only be perceived by people who want it.
Artistic sound creation
Phase 1 of the project led by Transcultures in 2021 has also been used to draw up specifications. These would serve to launch a call for projects to choose the artist who will realize the artistic creation(s) or urban furniture (till 8 may 2022).
The jury finally chose the idea of Jeroen Uyttendaele: Speaking Mirror. Uyttendaele wants to install a slanted mast in stainless steel that is gradually polished until it reflects. The sound system will be incorporated in it. The mirror was chosen as a metaphor for the reflection of the soul of the Fontainas neighbourhood and it creates an interaction with the listener and the environment.
The winning artist will work closely with the Transcultures team and the accompaniment committee of the City of Brussels to integrate the sound installation into his or her work.