Augmented ASMR Audio Play for One Voice and Seven Spirits

By Claire Tolan

Free to download from the App Store and Google Play from June-October.

A buzzing clatter fills the shimmering summer heat. Sitting in the green of the park, they murmur of the past, present and future. The cicadas of this audio play are gossipers and voyeurs. They observe the world and speculate about the nature of things. They use ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) to beguile and relax us, reminding us that there are realities beyond the human one. They promote awareness of our environment, our human and non-human companions*, and ourselves.

Join us for the presentation and picnic in Kongreßpark Vienna on two possible dates:

Friday, June 18th, 4 – 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 19th, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Location: On the Lawn at Kongreßpark 1160 Vienna (alternatively under former Milchtrinkhalle).

Please register here:

The app will be downloadable before the event.

Don’t forget your headphones!

Video teaser CICADA GAMES 2021. Camera and editor Maximilian Pramatarov.

CICADA GAMES is an art project based on an ASMR audio play and designed as an augmented reality app for Kongreßpark. It will be downloadable on platforms for iOS and Android.

A whisper about history and time, isolation and conspiracy.

Referring contextually to the radio play Die Zikaden (1954) by Ingeborg Bachmann and Plato’s Phaidros, CICADA GAMES throws us into an acoustic frenzy. The mythological cicada figures sit in the trees and whisper to us both truth and falsehood from their perspectives as children of the muses.

Kongreßpark, the green oasis surrounded by the cityscape of Ottakring, is named after the Congress of Vienna (1814-15). Its history is marked, as well, by the various Viennese and European conflicts in the 20th century. On this inner-city front, for example, the socialists held out against the spread of fascism in the 1930s (February Fights). Today, the carefree Viennese daily life unfolds at that same location, and we feel the left-wing socialist utopias from Viennese modernism (Red Vienna).

As a poetic reinvestigation, this audio play makes aspects of information, power and ideology tangible to the park visitors. It is an augmentation of the park experience through a virtual sound space that adds an extra layer of mysticism and glamour to our reality. In this fictional world, the whispering cicadas appear as mediums of silenced ghosts of the city (Teresa Feodorowna Ries, Hilda Doolittle, Sigmund Freud, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and others) as they ponder their own existence.

Curator: Lona Gaikis

Graphic Design: Milena Georgieva

Funded by KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum of the City of Vienna, the Federal Ministry for the Arts, Culture, Public Service and Sport BMKÖS and the District Council Ottakring with Head of District Franz Prokop. With the kind support of Ilixa.