Two Self-Guided Neighborhood Sound Trails for Open House Chicago 2020
Southeast Evanston and Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood • Friday, October 16 through Sunday, November 1
The economic disparities between different Chicago neighborhoods have been clearly identified and displayed in community activist and photographer Tonika Johnson’s Folded Map Project. From the perspective of sound and the field of acoustics, are these inequalities also apparent? For example, is the soundscape different in Lincoln Park and Englewood; Austin and the Gold Coast? How is it different and why? How does economic investment or de-investment affect the sound of a neighborhood? NON:op Open Opera Works’ Christophe Preissing and artist Allen Moore partner with Chicago Architecture Center’s Open House Chicago to consider these questions.
Aural Neighborhoods is adapted for social distancing with self-guided outdoor soundwalks in Chicago’s Auburn Gresham neighborhood and southeast Evanston. These communities were selected because they are approximately the same distance from Chicago’s loop, and they include sonic points of interest that roughly mirror each other in geography and content. The OHC2020 app includes clearly marked sound trails, and information and brief recordings to learn more about the unique sound markers in each neighborhood.
Walk one or both trails using the OHC2020 app with or without headphones, listen to complete recordings of each soundwalk below, and respond to prompts on our Aural Neighborhoods blog. Finally, should you wish to share recorded audio, video, or images of your soundwalk experience, contact us for a link to upload your documentation so that we may share it with the world.
Both Aural Neighborhoods Sound Trails are wheelchair accessible.
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NON:op Open Opera Works is excited to be a Community Partner with Open House Chicago (OHC) 2020! OHC is a free annual architecture festival presented by the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC). In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CAC transformed Open House Chicago to prioritize the community’s health and safety by creating an online and outdoor festival. To access OHC 2020 events, programs and tours, visit the Open House Chicago website or download the OHC app, which will be available on October 14.
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As you walk through the Auburn Gresham and southeast Evanston neighborhoods, keep in mind that these soundwalks take place on the ancestral homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi Nations. Many other tribes such as the Miami, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Sac, and Fox also called this area home. This region has long been a center for Indigenous people to gather, trade, and maintain kinship ties. Today, one of the largest urban American Indian communities in the United States resides in Chicago. Members of this community continue to contribute to the life of Chicago and to celebrate their heritage, practice traditions, and care for the land and waterways. Try to imagine the natural features and characteristics of these geographies, and try to hear in your minds ear what this land might have sounded like 100, 300, or 500 years ago.
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Aural Neighborhoods Sound Trail Designers
Allen Moore is a Black American Interdisciplinary Painter, Experimental Sound Artist, Educator, Youth Mentor and Curator born and raised in the Historic Village of Robbins IL. Moore holds a Bachelors of Arts from Chicago State University, a Masters in Arts from Governors State University and a Masters of Fine Arts from Northern Illinois University in 2016. His work examines both visual and experimental music, emphasizing the importance of nurturing the Black Imagination with social representation. His educational and curatorial practices focus on building spaces for advocacy, creative representation and healing. His work converses with the signifiers of African American and popular culture, bringing to view the underlying themes of racial, emotional and socioeconomic conditions. Moore has exhibited and performed across Chicago and the greater Midwest, including exhibitions at Heaven Gallery, Compound Yellow, Experimental Sound Studio, Elastic Arts, Threewalls, The Museum of Contemporary Art, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Roots & Culture Gallery, Lula Cafe, The Star Media Group, Union Street Gallery, The Museum of Science and Industry Chicago, etc. He is a volunteer staff member for A.C.R.E. Artist Residency and Comfort Station. His recent curatorial projects include GATHER and the P.O.W.E.R. Project. His work has been featured in publications including Sixty Inches From the Center, (Gather), Movement Matters, Bad at Sports Contemporary Art Talk (ANX 2015 Roots and Culture) and featured work in the Netflix Original Series “ Easy ” Seasons 1 and 2.
Mr. Preissing is the founder and artistic director of NON:op Open Opera Works whose mission it is to engage and enable lost, neglected, and suppressed voices to be heard through participatory, immersive, and interactive programs that welcome creative contributions from all who choose to create. Christophe is a sound composer, intermedia artist, curator, and producer, who creates sound that focuses on the space between and among art forms and artists. His work investigates non-hierarchical relationships among materials, co-creators, and audiences. An avid field recordist, Christophe may be found audio spelunking in abandoned industrial buildings, collecting sound in field and vale, or dumpster diving for sound objects. Christophe has been Artist-in-Residence and Fellow at Beloit College, Indiana University, Millay Colony, Ragdale, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Djerrassi, Atlantic Center for the Arts, and has received support and recognition from the Pritzker Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, American Composers Forum, Meet the Composer, Illinois Arts Council, and Illinois Humanities. He has produced shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago Cultural Center, Illinois Institute of Technology, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, among others. Recent sound installations include Blood Lines: Remembering the 1919 Chicago Race Riots at Augustana Lutheran Church of Hyde Park, Chicago; Portrait of Carrie Sandahl with painter Riva Lehrer at the Evanston Art Center; SUS: the long thin wire, and Street Sheets in collaboration with Hugh Sato and Mario Gonzalez, Jr. at Columbia University in New York.
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.