Le Denier Cri

The theme of the first iteration of Sound Development City (SDC) is “The latest craze”. The German idiom for this phrase is der letzte Schrei, which literally means the last cry. The theme was chosen with the intention of probing and negotiating the notion of hype. From the introduction of SDC Book by Gesa Schneider (Project coordinator).

As a selected artist for SDC´s expeditions to Berlin, London and Zurich, Katharina Rohde developed several collaborative as well as solo pieces. Experimenting with sound in various ways (collecting, listening, recording and performing), the works investigated the perception of sounds under different circumstances (e.g. when blindfolded), explored routes one takes following just sound, re-appropriated spaces by overtaking surrounding sound and reflected the shattering effects of a constant hum (like the blabla) on one´s creativity.


Video without sound, loop. Recorded instructions, mp3 player and headphones, 1.18 min.

Sound detectives_1 Sound detectives_2

Our culture is a visual culture. We are led by images more than by sounds. Our cities are full of sounds that we can hardly distinguish. The general hum drowns out the detail. We often escape the urban soundscape by putting on headphones and going into a sound bubble.

You are now standing outside. Can you hear people on the other side of the street? In a moment you will start your sound expedition. What happens when you really listen to the sounds of the city? Try to walk toward noise, away from noise. Follow a noise, walk toward a place where you expect to have a listening experience. You may find yourself still following visual stimuli.

During the presentation in Berlin visitors were invited to be Sound Detectives. Equipped with MP3 Players and instructions people were sent outside to have a sonic experience.

In collaboration with Jana Burbach and Ariel Bustamante.

HTML based collection of thoughts

During the Sound Development City expeditions in Berlin, London and Zürich thoughts and ideas were produced non stop. Thoughts or ideas were for us the beginning of collaborative processes, where we started to connect, to discuss, to overlap, to develop, to reflect and to create. A collection of thoughts produced by SDC artists and visitors to the expeditions in the three cities was collected.

Collection of thoughts_a selection_Berlin

Concept: Katharina Rohde
Technical support: Ariel Bustamante
Input: all SDC artists and SDC exhibition visitors in Berlin, London, Zurich.


Performance (Work- in- Progress)

Performance Scream_1 Performance Scream_2 Performance Scream_3

The confrontation with emotions, sounds and visual information at all times is the starting point of this performance. In cities we are surrounded by a constant hum, while having little ways to let out, to open the valve, to empty and to refresh the overloaded system. This is literally reflected in the disappearance of public spaces for recreation in the urban environment.

For the performance the techniques of dynamic meditation were applied and taken into the public. On a bridge crossing a highly frequented inner city highway in London three stages out of normally five stages of dynamic meditation were performed in an attempt to turn off surrounding sounds and to reclaim public space.

instructions for dynamic mediation

Concept and Performance: Katharina Rohde
Video: Israel Martinez
Video Screening during exibition in Zurich, Annex Manesses
The video was screened at the Fonotéca Nacional in Mexico City as part of the exhibition el ruido ese, el silencio by Israel Martinez.


expedition facts and reflections

For the final presentation in Zürich we gathered a compilation of  our observations, thoughts, learnings and reflections on SOUND DEVELOPMENT CITY and installed the text, that was printed in very small letters on a table with a magnifying glass. Further visitors were able to listen to the text over three headphones, one for Sound, one for Development, one for City.

Mapping SDC

The first two parts of the text were performed live during the presentation.

In collaboration with Jana Burbach.