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ABOUT
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Jacek
Smolicki

Fragmentarium Club (2016-)

Fragmentarium Club is an independent platform uniting people interested in attentive listening, soundwalking and field recording. It grew out of my solitary practice of soundwalking and field recording which I wanted to share with friends and acquaintances, but also anyone else willing to join. It is a form of practical response to the proliferation of visual polution, digital screens and information overload characterizing contemporary public spaces. Fragmentarium Club organizes soundwalks, site-responsive sound performances, workshops, and listening sessions, in Sweden and internationally. An important activity of the club is collaboration with other artists, cultural institutions, universities, conferences and festivals.

Since 2016, Fragmentarium club has organized events in numerous cities including Venice, Oslo, Palma de Mallorca, Krakow, Paris, and Stockholm. The club's official website - www.fragmentarium.club - hosts audio documentation from soundwalking events alongside written reflections on the acts of listening, and information about the upcoming events.

Fragmentarium Club also refers back to the history of developments in technologies of record. The proliferation of recording tools such as cheap photo cameras at the beginning of the 20th century or tape recorders few decades later gave rise to amateur clubs and survey movements. These initiatives promoted the use of personal recording equipment for archival and cultural purposes rather than mainstream, consumerist ends. One such example is a London Tape Recording Club uniting enthusiasts of sound recording of everyday life. It was a group of people who would gather regularly to exchange their field recordings and talk about different aspects of urban soundscapes.

Other important reference is the tradition of soundscape studies and soundwalking as a method for exploring urban space and transformations it undergoes. Both terms are linked to Simon Fraser University in Vancouver and Raymond Murray Schafer's World Soundscape Project emerging there in the late 60's of the 20th century. World Soundscape Project was a group of scholars and sound enthusiasts (such as Hildegard Westerkamp and Barry Truax) whose aim along with raising awareness about the role of sound in culture, society and environment, was to consistently record and catalog soundscapes at risk of disappearance, intensified at the time by industrial transformations. Jean Routhier who also comes from the Vancouver soundscape tradition, has been performing collective soundwalks for many years. The principle of his approach is to give priority to listening, while on the move, as a form of attentive engagement in space around us. This is why during his walks participants are not allowed to speak to each other. Today soundwalks are often used in cultural heritage, tourism industry or entertainment. They often include complex technological infrastrutcures, locative media and GPS-responsive systems. But in Fragmentarium Club we try not to become too much dependent on technology. Rather, the idea is to forget about technologies and their function as a mediator between us and space. That is why during the walks devices such as smartphones are usually switched off, unless we deliberately agree on using them as recording devices or speakers for the pre-recorded material.





Fragmentarium Club, The World Listening Day 2017, Kungsholmen, Stockholm


Fragmentarium Club, Walking Festival of Sound, September 2019, Stockholm, in collaboration with Tim Shaw, Newcastle University


Fragmentarium Club, International Dawn Chorus Day, May 2018, Stockholm


Fragmentarium Club, International Dawn Chorus Day, May 2018, Stockholm


Fragmentarium Club, The World Listening Day 2019, Trekanten, Stockholm


Fragmentarium Club in colaboration with Janna Holmstedt, Sonic Sensitivities, a listening session at Marabouparken, May 2019, Stockholm