Walking through Kadrioru Park, Spanish artist Enrique Tomás – of Escoitar.org – shows us what awaits participants in his sound tour: White Walk. Equipped with headphones and an audio guide complete with GPS, we take an acoustic journey and listen to grass grow, boughs break, the earth gurgle.
NoTours proposes a sound‐walk through a defined territory, a historical and acoustical journey narrated by protagonists of these spaces. NoTours incorporates sound elements into this journey relative to the area and the position of the walker. The project uses mobile devices based on open source code as well as GPS technologies and 3‐D audio content (binaural and ambisonic).
Using the extended format of audio tour guides and understanding them as devices that provide us with information about spaces cataloged as relevant for public interest, Escoitar’s objective is to deconstruct this old‐framed format in order to design a new one that opens up to the collective memory of Tallinn’s inhabitants and connects it to the real‐time situation of the city. The project can be considered an intervention into the perception of urban space, understood as a stream of complex actions. Each environment is inexorably tied to concrete sounds that characterize and identify those places and thus distinguish them from the acoustics of other different spaces or contexts. For visitors touring Tallinn with noTours, the sounds will reveal a hidden city filled with personal stories and interferences. Using WIFI, GPS technologies, and 3‐D audio technologies, the work offers profound audio experiences linked to particular spaces and to the data extracted from the environment (temperature, pollution, traffic, etc). NoTours proposes a strategy for assessing the complexity of a territory, for understanding how much sound informs us about a place, and for elaborating new ways of perceiving knowledge and expression through our ears.