Geert Vermeire


noTours, augmented aurality

noTours is an open source and freeware project by a collective of international artists and developers that allows editing a place with sounds. This means that you can attach sounds to a territory and that later, when you go physically to that place you can listen to them. The trick is using our noTours Android Application that detects your location (via GPS) and plays your audios exactly in the place where you decided. Our project makes it possible to listen to and to walk in spaces, experiencing an augmented acoustic reality. This alters the perception of space by superimposing new layers sounds to a territory, allowing the creation of parallel realities and connecting the real space with the collective memory of its inhabitants.

noTours proposes a sound-walk through a defined territory, a historical and acoustical journey narrated by protagonists of the territory. noTours incorporate to this journey sound elements relative to the area where the visitant is located as well as sound art works or other sound elements in relation with the concrete space where the walker is. Departing from work-shops with residents and using collaborative creation processes this project aims to turn the process that allows some social expressions to be considered cultural heritage upside down, by offering society a tool to participate in the process.

Inspired by the situationist ‘dérive’ and evading from the city-panorama model, usually thought as an eminent visual, pan-optic and geometric model, delineated by urbanists and cartographers, it appears for us the necessity of elaborating new sensible itineraries that could question the urban lay out, usually considered as an univocal space. Using the extended format of touristic audio guides, understanding them as devices giving us information about spaces cataloged as relevant or for the public interest, this project would like to question their real value.

Our objective is the deconstruction of this old-framed format for designing a new one opened to the collective memory of the inhabitants and connected to the real time situation of the city involved. Between fiction and reality, we would like to intervene on strange or familiar territories and convert them into mutant spaces. Sound will reveal a hidden city filled with personal stories and interferences.

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