2019 Artist Residency: Sound in the City

December 31, 2019

The hum of the Gardiner above, the rush of passing trains, the occasional cannon blasts from Fort York, and the general buzz from the surrounding city make The Bentway site rich acoustic territory. Our 2019 Artist Residency featured Mitchell Akiyama and Brady Peters exploring The Bentway as an instrument.

Mitchell Akiyama and Brady Peters select selected as The Bentway’s initial artist residency recipients, which was co-presented with New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA). Their goal for the residency was to develop an understanding of The Bentway as a site through which myriad forces flow – vibrational, social, electrical, acoustical.

The energy intensiveness of the city is amplified, quite literally, under the Expressway. They were drawn to measure, channel, capture, transduce, and utilize these forces and flows, the excess, the surplus of urban infrastructure in order to transform these energies.

What if the vibrations of the columns can be converted into electricity in order power a sound installation? Could the soundscape of the underpass be significantly altered through electronic mediation or architectural intervention?

In collaboration with the local community, through workshops and public programming, Mitchell and Brady sought to transform the Bentway, and in the process deepened our relationship to the city’s sonic environment.