CICADA GAMES (2021)
AN AUDIO PLAY FOR ONE VOICE AND SEVEN SPIRITS
ASMR audio play for a public space by artist Claire Tolan
Curator: Lona Gaikis
Location: Kongreßpark, Vienna
Funded by KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum, the Austrian Ministry for Culture BMKÖS, and the City Council of Vienna.
CICADA GAMES is an ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) audio play designed as an augmented reality app for Kongreßpark. A whispering about history and time, isolation and conspiration.
Referring to the radio play Die Zikaden (1954) by Ingeborg Bachmann, the piece throws us into an acoustic rush. The cicadas, perched in the trees, whisper to us things from the past, present, and future.
Kongreßpark — the local green axis in the urban landscapes of Ottakring — is named after the Congress of Vienna, which took place 1814 – 1815. It accounts for Europe’s conflict-ridden history. Today, however, the ease and untroubled day-to-day life can be experienced here amongst the traces of later Viennese modernism. The cultural and architectural influence, and the visionary of left-wing socialist utopias (Red Vienna) resonate in the air.
The poetic adaptation in the form of an ASMR radio play will make history tangible. The whispering cicadas become gossips and voyeurs, paradoxically using ASMR to encourage relaxation and sleep while, with the same tools, offering a pathway to a heightened awareness of our surroundings, and the history it is built on.