Binaural/Nodar is a Portuguese cultural project founded in 2004, originally in the Gralheira mountain range (Municipality of São Pedro do Sul) and more recently covering the region of Viseu Dão Lafões, working in the areas of sound and multimedia arts, anthropological documentation of rural cultural heritage, sound education, works for radio and publications.
Binaural/Nodar places itself as an intermediary between rural communities and artists, social science researchers, curators, press, etc., seeking to build strong relationships with both local communities and regional, national and international entities, through a wide range of complementary activities: for example, more than 150 international artists and researchers were hosted in the territory through its residency program in sound and media arts.
The conceptual model of Binaural/Nodar is based on a simultaneous focus: both a deep local commitment with rural communities and an affirmative placement in a global context, with activities developed in rural villages, museums, universities, cultural organizations from countries such as Spain, France, Italy, England, Germany or the United States.
On the other hand the organization promotes a philosophy of “permanent territorial laboratory”, a multidisciplinary concept that enhances the concept of a cultural agent as a mediator or sensor of its own territory, articulating its everyday dynamics with both local inhabitants and with municipalities, educational communities, universities, artistic communities, developers, entrepreneurs, etc.
Rural Nodar Art Lab is a programme of site-specific sound/media arts residencies, developed in interaction with communities and rural landscapes of the Portuguese Lafões region, formed by the municipalities of São Pedro do Sul, Vouzela and Oliveira de Frades.
Nodar Rural Art Lab celebrated in 2016 its 10th anniversary of continuous activity, having been hosted so more than 150 artists and researchers from around the world.
The organization encourages the resident artists to establish interactions with the place, its inhabitants, geographic space, identity and memory.
Every year Binaural/Nodar announces an open call for applications and only from that moment it is possible to send proposals for residencies (likely period for the open call announcement: between March and June each year, for artistic projects to be developed the following year) and the deadline for the submission of applications is set to happen between 30 September and 31 October.
Binaural/Nodar being an artistic collective, every year develops a series of new creations, namely, but not exclusively, in the context of Nodar Artist Residency Center. The philosophy behind these creations is compatible with that of all other activities, that is, through exploratory techniques and tools, some subtle or forgotten aspects of social reality are questioned. Thus, we can consider this body of creations as an extension of a broader work of connection between art, space and communities.
The Digital Archive of Binaural/Nodar is an endogenous project of collection, digitalization, cataloguing and publishing of sound, video and photographic documents from territories in the Portuguese districts of Viseu and Aveiro, whose opportunity stems from the participation of Binaural / Nodar in an European project dedicated to rural and mountain areas’ cultural documentation, Tramontana Network of memory archives, but also brings together a set of relevant documents arising from creative and educational work developed from more than a decade in the region.
The archive is a collection of elements and narratives from our territory, which are properly organized and classified according to technical criteria that allow access to researchers, developers, managers, and promoters of the territory and, most important of all, to the communities in the region.
This archive should be able to keep aspects from the local imaginary and culture, while disseminating a set of geographical, historical, anthropological and/or artistic documentation, which can be studied and directly or indirectly transmitted, much of which is likely to gain increased meaning with the very passage of time.
Lafões Terra de Cultura (Lafões Land of Culture) is a project by Binaural/Nodar for the establishment of regular cultural programming in partnership with the municipalities of São Pedro do Sul, Vouzela and Oliveira de Frades, which together form the Lafões sub-region, one that, before the administrative reorganization of the 19th century, consisted of a single municipality.
Lafões Terra de Cultura proposes an inclusive and widespread regular cultural programming, firstly enhancing the longstanding experience of Binaural/Nodar in establishing links between communities / heritage / tradition and artistic experimentation (not only in sound and media arts, but now also in theatre, performance, music, film, etc.); secondly, giving artistic relevance to cultural facilities of the aforementioned municipalities; thirdly, aligning itself with a new cultural strategy created by the Viseu Dão Lafões Cultural Network that brings together professional cultural structures from the Viseu district (Binaural/Nodar, ACERT, Viriato Theatre, Paulo Ribeiro Company, Montemuro Theatre and Cine Clube de Viseu) by sharing its artistic works, its programming and education activities and, finally, developing a privileged cooperation with companies/artists from neighboring Spanish territories (regions of Galicia and Castilla y León), thereby resuming old friendships and empathies with its artistic communities.