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Empty Cities (join to the project)

Following government directives and to counter the spread of Coronavirus in Italy, each of us has made a commitment not to leave the house and to limit travel as much as possible, in a sort of centripetal abandonment of the places where it is no longer the going away that characterizes desertification but the staying.

As for the abandoned landscape, the result according to the senses is the same. Excluding a few centralizers – once again centripetal attractors – such as supermarkets and pharmacies, the rest is visibly emptied, acoustically silent. Those who listen to the city no longer have the fixed points that characterize the life before the quarantine, which creates anxiety – but sometimes even surprise, as a sort of epiphany – and it is perhaps no coincidence that the sound that spreads from the balconies through a hymn or applause, it has become a means of reaction to the imposed condition, the “signal” of the times that are running.

VacuaMoenia, aware of this indefinite and transitional acoustic condition, proposes, as a continuation of the Metascape project, “Empty Cities” a direct streaming in which anyone with a microphone and a recorder can participate. You will have your own online space in which to transmit what is happening at the moment it is happening, so as to create an expanded sound day in multiple parts of the world.

We transform what has reduced us into a few meters of home into something that thanks to streaming and the internet can be extended to the entire planet.

manifesto of rural futurism

Manifesto of Rural Futurism

The Manifesto of Rural Futurism is a transnational project interrogating current discourses on rurality as authentic, utopic, anachronistic, provincial, traditional and stable, and the binaries that support such discourses: belonging vs. alienation, development vs. backwardness. A critical approach to rurality is necessary, today more than ever, to imagine other futures for rural communities, territories and places beyond the “otherness” vs. “identity” dichotomy. This exhibition attempts to understand rural areas as complex spaces actively immersed in the dynamism of encounters, flows and fluxes of contemporary geographies, and critically question modern discourses of capitalism and metropolitanism in which rural territories are marginalised and considered as doomed to oblivion.

The Manifesto of Rural Futurism is an invitation to experience rural locations and abandoned places as spaces in which to question our approach to history and landscape, our sense of living in a specific place and the relationship that we have with it. The sound of environments, spaces and landscapes reveal the challenges and territorial transformations that inform the ideology, infrastructure and biological ecosystems to which we form a part. In this sense, listening practices are deployed as a way to critically traverse the “border territories” of rural territories, challenging persisting notions about “inescapable marginality”, “residuality” and “peripherality”.

The Manifesto of Rural Futurism comprises sound and visual recordings by artists undertaking fieldwork in Southern Italy including: Daniela d’Arielli, Enrico Ascoli, Angus Carlyle, Luca Buoninfante, Jo Burzynska, Enrico Coniglio, Alejandro Cornejo Montibeller, Nicola Di Croce, Fernando Godoy, Miguel Isaza, Raffaele Mariconte, Marco Messina, Mollin + Voegelin, Alyssa Moxley, Philip Samartzis, Vacuamoenia, David Vélez and Sarah Waring.

The Manifesto of Rural Futurism is supported by the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture, Liminaria/Interferenze new arts festival, Pollinaria, and the Contemporary Art and Social Transformation research group at the RMIT School of Art.

City Scripts by Giorgio Vasta

City Scripts takes shape from a city, Palermo, made of space and time, and five narrators: three individual ones, Fulvio Abbate, Emma Dante, Giorgio Vasta and two duals, young people aged between twenty and twenty-five, coming from Italy and Africa but living in the city today. City Scripts is the description of five fragments of Palermo, five texts that will be made available as free download podcasts, five ‘visions to listen’, five perceptions of Palermo’s territory over time (both, past and future), five micro-narrations in which the wordscape, a landscape of words, mixes with the landscape of sound, the soundscape.

City Scripts is also an educational project that Manifesta12 implements in collaboration with Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – Sede Sicilia: at hand of ten young authors, it becomes an opportunity to deal with the narration of physical space (with Giorgio Vasta), the soundscape (with Pietro Bonanno and Fabio Lattuca, intending the VacuaMoenia project) and the audio documentary (with Letizia Gullo).
In collaboration with:
Fulvio Abbate, Emma Dante, VacuaMoenia, Letizia Gullo, Angelica Cricchio, Giulia Leoni, Andrea Mafrica, Constance La Bruna, Toumani Diabaté, Mustapha Conteh, Bandiougou Diawara, Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – Sede Sicilia.


1.City Scripts Via Vincenzo di Pavia by Fulvio Abbate
2.City Scripts – Arenella
by Emma Dante
3.City Scripts – Pozzo Arabo
by Giorgio Vasta
4.City Scripts – Panchina del Giardino Inglese
by Angelica Cricchio con Mustapha Conteh e Andrea Mafrica
5.City Scripts – Palermo attraverso le linee degli autobus 101 e 628
by Bandiougou Diawara, Costanza La Bruna, Giulia Leoni, Toumani Diabate


METASCAPE is a soundscape-live-streaming and, therefore, an investigation on schizophony: listeners attend the sound event just temporally, but are spatially thousands of kilometres away. Moreover, the work is itself an investigation on compositional, electroacoustic and computer technologies as involved in the real time listening process.
During the front end – streaming \ recording – there is no possibility of post-production editing, leaving the exposure to determine the compositional developments and complicating the microphoning techniques, in close-up or not. Random elements are included by telematic aspects related to the dissemination of data through the internet.
The back end – the involvement of listening – arises the problem of psycho-cognitive decryption in determining sources, events and shapes, rendering the individual listener as the main actor of interpretation.


Gradients is a sound installation of Sicily’s abandoned landscapes. The work was selected for the Symposium on Acoustic Ecology organised by University of Kent at Chatam (UK) in 2013, for the Nuit Blanche 2014 in Paris, for the FKL Symposium in Florence in 2014 and took part in the exhibition “In Hoc Signo” organised by the most important art galleries and artist collectives of Palermo in October 2015.




Elima si propone di utilizzare il suono e l’ascolto per costruire una nuova visione della storia e del futuro dei luoghi. Il progetto si diffonde in una delle aree più caratteristiche della Sicilia, quella del trapanese, prendendo il nome dalla città che gli Elimi fondarono sul monte Castellazzo, nella collina che sovrasta la città di Poggioreale Antica.
L’ascolto è uno strumento cieco e per certi versi vergine. Ascoltare e registrare i suoni, come accade per le immagini e la fotografia, è un’azione di ricerca nel territorio che si sviluppa in base alla creatività e alle intuizioni. Tutto ciò si traduce in un continuo contatto con il paesaggio attraverso la storia degli uomini che lo hanno vissuto e la risonanza delle terre, il territorio che suona attraverso i suoi elementi.