CNMN > Projects > Moi_Espace Public

Thais Montanari

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  • Open (def: scores for unspecified instrumentation)
  • Acoustic instruments
  • 13 to 18 years of age
  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Community associations
  • Feminism

Moi_Espace Public


The project Moi_Espace Pub­lic was born out of a con­vic­tion that artis­tic cre­ation can be a fruit­ful space for exchange on every­day issues, whether emo­tion­al  or social. My desire was to meet and exchange with peo­ple, and facil­i­tate their artis­tic expres­sion on two vast and com­plex sub­jects: pub­lic space and the expe­ri­ence of women in our cur­rent soci­ety. As a musi­cian inter­est­ed in inter­dis­ci­pli­nary, the project is based on the cre­ation of audio­vi­su­al works in the broad­est sense of the term.


Before the devel­op­ment of the project

1.    Based on pri­or research, I thought about the themes I would like to address. 

2.    I chose the angle of both themes to be addressed, in my case the per­son­al expe­ri­ence of women in pub­lic spaces cho­sen by each par­tic­i­pant. I want­ed to learn about the expe­ri­ences of dif­fer­ent women in these spaces and how they per­ceive them­selves in those spaces.

3.    I elab­o­rat­ed a score-text-guide to incite the cre­ation of the audio­vi­su­al pieces with­out nar­row­ing the con­cep­tu­al and aes­thet­ic angle of the project. I intend­ed to work with women from dif­fer­ent back­grounds (cul­tur­al, gen­er­a­tional, etc.), pro­fes­sions and artis­tic visions. This score is com­posed of an 8 steps cre­ative process. (See the score below)

Prac­ti­cal part of the project

1.    Dis­cus­sions (Steps 1 to 4 in the score):

I chose some phras­es and ques­tions that would moti­vate con­ver­sa­tions about the com­mon themes of the project. The order of these items in the guide were cho­sen to move from a gen­er­al to a sub­jec­tive scope in con­ver­sa­tions with participants:

a. In 1, I chose sen­tences from a lit­er­ary work  impor­tant to me whose author, the French philoso­pher Hen­ri Lefeb­vre, speaks about the pro­duc­tion of pub­lic spaces. These sen­tences allow me to intro­duce the cen­tral ques­tion of the project and to begin to stim­u­late per­son­al reflec­tion on this theme.

b. In 2, 3 and 4 I have cre­at­ed ques­tions to invite peo­ple to place them­selves in the cen­ter of the theme and approach it in a per­son­al and objec­tive way accord­ing to a dai­ly or punc­tu­al expe­ri­ence. Usu­al­ly, peo­ple are imme­di­ate­ly inter­est­ed  in a per­son­al theme. If this is not the case, I invite them to tell me more about a par­tic­u­lar per­son­al expe­ri­ence, their work envi­ron­ment, the paths they make every day or the spaces they often vis­it, in order to choose an angle to explore in the project.

It is at these stages that I take the oppor­tu­ni­ty to get to know each per­son bet­ter: where they come from? Who do they live with, what is their work? What do they do out­side of work? I let them share as much as they want, and I explain that they can also hide from me as much as they want. I use this time to share per­son­al expe­ri­ences and thoughts of mine as well. On the prac­ti­cal side, these con­ver­sa­tions also serve as a tool to help me in the cre­ative part of the piece: once I know more about people’s feel­ings and pref­er­ences, I can sug­gest some strate­gies in case they feel lost lat­er in the process.

2.    Turn these thoughts into art mate­r­i­al (Step 5–7 in the score):

a.    As I enter the more prac­ti­cal part of the project, I ask peo­ple to find visu­al and audio mate­ri­als that rep­re­sent the ideas from the pre­vi­ous steps. I take advan­tage of this time to find out what their rela­tion­ship to art is, what kind of art, music, movies they like, etc. From these con­ver­sa­tions I get tools that help me stim­u­late their cre­ativ­i­ty, in case they feel stuck at some point and need help for the work to come to fruition. I let each per­son come up with their own ideas by accept­ing every­thing : ref­er­ences to famous works, per­son­al pho­tos, images from the inter­net, mem­o­ries, sound effects, etc. To help them unlock their imag­i­na­tion, I can give some exam­ples based on what I know about that per­son or even give per­son­al exam­ples of my own that might relate to what they are try­ing to express. If the per­son feels blocked, I don’t hes­i­tate to offer one or two ideas as a start and then let them devel­op that idea. For exam­ple, if the per­son likes to draw, I can sug­gest that they start work­ing on a draw­ing they have made that relates to the theme of the work. If they like poet­ry, I can sug­gest that they write sen­tences and choose key­words as ref­er­ences for the images and sounds to record.

b.    Once we have the mate­ri­als, I ask them to cre­ate a skele­ton, a struc­ture for the piece such as an order of sec­tions, a main theme to explore, mate­ri­als that can over­lap each oth­er, or a begin­ning, mid­dle and end of an idea.

c.     I then ask peo­ple to repro­duce or find and record these sounds and images. In some cre­ations, the mate­r­i­al was repro­duced or col­lect­ed by the per­son them­selves with what­ev­er means were avail­able to them (their own instru­ment, images from the inter­net, record­ings and film­ing with their phones or per­son­al cam­eras and recorders). In oth­er cas­es, I used my own equip­ment (recorder, micro­phones and camera).

Smart­phones can be a good tool for tak­ing sound and images. Some cam­eras (such as Go-Pros) and recorders (such the Zoom brand) have a rel­a­tive­ly acces­si­ble price and inter­face. Final­ly, there are dif­fer­ent web­sites where images and sounds can be down­loaded for free (it is impor­tant to note the type of license grant­ed by each website):

Sound: Freesound

Images: Unsplash

Images and videos: Pex­els

Sound, images and video: Vide­vo

3.    Com­ple­tion of the work (Step 8 in the score)

To com­plete the work, I ask peo­ple to exper­i­ment with putting the mate­r­i­al pro­duced in step 7 into the pre­vi­ous­ly thought-out struc­ture. If the con­text allows it, ide­al­ly, each per­son can make their own work inde­pen­dent­ly. I advise them to be pre­pared to adapt the struc­ture or mate­r­i­al and refine it to their lik­ing. If the con­text does not allow for each per­son to fin­ish their own work alone, I can sup­port them tech­ni­cal­ly or creatively.

About the tools for this step, there are also some free edit­ing soft­wares that are adapt­ed to all oper­at­ing sys­tems like Open Shot. In addi­tion, the Davin­ci Resolve soft­ware offers a free ver­sion with many pos­si­bil­i­ties for sound and visu­al editing.

See the web­site or YouTube for tuto­r­i­al videos to intro­duce these programs.

4.          The dis­tri­b­u­tion of the works

In order to dif­fuse these works to the pub­lic, I have cre­at­ed a web page ded­i­cat­ed to the project. In addi­tion to being able to watch the videos cre­at­ed with­in the project, every­one has access to the score-guide avail­able in French, Eng­lish, Span­ish and Portuguese.

Below you can see the score of the project as well as the main ideas and results of the work done by Chan­tal Gar­cia and Mar­i­anela Rey.

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