Sightseeing for the Blind “is a project by Rui Costa based on a sound walk through a city.
The experience that a tourist has of a city is largely determined by the randomness of the impressions on the edge of consciousness, a permanent mapping between what one sees and desires, preconceived ideas, memories, etc.. It is intended that the project uses this mental process as a starting point for an artistic creation.
The sound recording of a city that has seen by the first time incorporates this thought process in a very evident way: By registering the sonic environment of the place, many subjective aspects are also captured: decisions on where to go, what places to avoid, how long to stay in one place, how fast walking, preconceived ideas of what one wants to record and so on.
The project begins with a phase of “sound tourism.” With the help of a tour guide, some routes will be defined that will be traveled and recorded with the aid of a pair of binaural microphones. Along the route impressions, moods, mental associations and decisions will also be recorded. This information will be used later to create a score or a series of instructions for the second stage of the work, which may consist of a composition or a sound installation.
The first step of this project focused on the city of Lisbon, and culminated with the publication in August 2009 of a CD with a sound composition. Under the will of the artist in making new variants of the same project in several cities in Portugal and abroad, a second version of the project will be developed in August 2010 in the city of Aveiro.