Sesol.org: Sound Map Commons Project

sesolposter-final small Exhibition: Interactive Open Archive Sound Map, May 6-7, 9 am – 4:50 pm 

Venue:  Tory Building 1-105, University of Alberta

Public Presentation: Ipek Oskay, On the Politics of Commons: Sesol.org – Istanbul Islands Sound Map Commons Project, (in the session Recording), May 6, 9 am – 10:15

Venue: Tory Building 1-105, University of Alberta


Sesol.org [Be the voice of, in Turkish] is a website designed to serve various interactive online sound map archives for various communities. The first of these campaigns is the Adalara Ses Ol [Be the voice of Islands] Open Archive Sound Map for the Islands District in Istanbul, Turkey (famously known as Price Islands) and the Marmara Sea surrounding them.

The SesOl sound map project aims to develop an open and interactive sound data archive of the living (anthropologic, bioacoustic, and other biophonic) and non-living entities (geophysical, mechanic, urban and so on). The content of the uploaded sounds also acts as a social forum exhibiting environmental, social and political problems, conflicts, memories, desires, demands of the islands and the Marmara Sea commoners as well as the multiplicity of the forms and existences that these various commoners take, inhabiting (islanders of various timespans, immigrants without papers, local animals, insects, and flora etc.) or passing by (travellers, tourists, migratory animals etc) the islands and the Marmara Sea in various temporal frames.  Methodologically, the project brings together ideas from various arts, humanities, geography and sound studies paradigms and tools of cybercartography, mapping, audio ethnography, composition, story telling, soundscape ecology, soundwalking, oral history, auto-ethnography, qualitative research interviews and community development.

The SesOl.org collective has also designed a movable altigen02b-300x150sound installation to be exhibited on the islands and the ports of Istanbul.

The SesOl.org project is developed by the volunteer efforts of the SesOl.org Collective and on personal funds.

The idea for the Sesol.org platform was initiated in May 2015 and our software is updated in April 2017 to enable several categorical, spatial and temporal tagging. In April 2017, we have now half of the recorded sounds and our new tagging system available on our website.    

Methodologically, the project brings together ideas from various arts, humanities, geography and sound studies paradigms and tools of cybercartography, mapping, audio ethnography, composition, story telling, soundscape ecology, soundwalking, oral history, auto-ethnography, qualitative research interviews and community development.

DSC_0040The project proposes the idea that a collaborative and interactive data collecting and sharing method can enhance active listening and contemplation through participant’s engagement in field and autobiographical recordings and later tagging the recordings conceptually as participants copy the recordings to the server. The project uses a data coding/tagging system to locate multiple spatial and temporal acoustic events of multiple aspects of scenes and entities in both virtual and material form. Fixed category tagging allows us to easily connect every recoding in a network and free tagging allows the participant to contribute to the language of the virtual community.

Unlike most other sound maps, the sound upload system also includes representational sound tags that trace the past vanished (sample sounds, recordings of news reports and so on) or allow recordings created by artistic media (i.e midi sprout recordings or story telling recordings).

The map ​allows participants to continually revisit the events and their own position in the changing soundscape – a fluid experience where participants continually add new positions, new contexts and dimensions to the soundscape.   Tagging and mapping of the sounds are not only acts in active witnessing or self representation -locating, archiving, preserving knowledge but also taking part in creating a virtual community that can be experienced simultaneously discordant, rhythmic and harmonious and may have effects in potentially then after different community.

The project suggests re-thinking the social, social change and social research through the idea of commons (creating a form of regulatory meaning through the networks of multiple of subjectivities, spatializations, temporalities beyond the duality of private and public) and multiplicity of temporal and spatial experiences of various subjects of a community (where the community is not assumed and confined to human and resident being but also includes networks of other-than-human and non- resident commoners.

Through an exhibition of the process and the data of the SesOl sound map project, the project suggests thinking acoustic space as an affective space of commons (in the sense of a particular form of regulation that is other than that of private and public) and its political implications on the construction of socio-political communities and their commoners. The collecting, organizing and dissemination of the research data as commons (open access research data and the production of the content of data by the subjects themselves) also problematize the methodological approaches for social research playing with the boundaries of “scientific research,” community and artwork.

The project invites thinking the relationship of the aesthetic act to the ethics and the knowledge of commons in the events of material and immaterial, human and non-human networks of practices of the soundscape.

In the future, the collective plans to open its site for various sound map projects proposed by different communities or groups.

Currently, the site language is  Turkish, only while recordings can be of any language that is heard on the islands and the Marmara Sea.

See HARITA [MAP] for the sound map (will be available back again in April due to programing updates)

See SES EKLE [ADD] for adding sounds to the map

See RADYO [RADIO] for the soundcloud.com playlist of some of the sounds. 

See SESTEN İŞLER [SOUND WORKS] for our call for individual sound works to be produced out of our sound data- i.e. sound mixes, sound installations, radio mixes, dance choreographies etc. The SesOl.org collective has also designed a movable sound installation to be exhibited on the islands and the ports of Istanbul. Various sound artists from Istanbul are also preparing a sound-mix album with our recordings.

SesOl.org Collective:


Gürkan Mıhçı (Sound Team)

İpek Oskay (Project Founder, Coordinator, Principal Researcher, Web Design, Sound Installation Design, Sound Team)

Melih Dalbudak (Sound Team)

Ozan Öztaşkıran (Software Consultation)

Tolga Balcı (Sound Team)


Acknowledgements:

We appreciate all the great contributions of our friends in the initiation of this project: Tayfun Can Akbaba, Kerem Bora, Alaattin Cineviz, Mehtap Çağlar, Fulya Hocaoğlu, Dr. Rob Shields and Laçin Tutalar. ‘The primary site photo belongs to the artist, Sine Boran Art. The backend development of the sound upload system was started by Tayfun Can Akbaba in September 2015 and enhanced by Stefanus Andree in April 2017.