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Stereopublic - Crowdsourcing The Quiet
by Startacus Admin
Earlier this week we took a look at the amazing ‘Creative Mornings’ and the unprecedented success they have had in expanding their breakfast talk series from humble beginnings in the US to cities all over the world. Now we travel down under to take a look at a participatory art project which is attempting to improve the lives of urban dwellers on an international scale...
Peace and quiet...it’s becoming harder and harder to come by in our non-stop world of constant auditory activity. No matter where we are, there seems to be a perpetual din rising all around us to the point that sometimes the simple pleasure of silence can seem like a beautiful but distant memory.
That’s how Stereopublic founder Jason Sweeney felt after moving to Melbourne, Australia in 2007. Whilst living in an underground apartment devoid of natural light and airflow he began to mull over the fundamental importance of quiet and calm. Identifying that whilst the predominant impression of urban landscapes is one of noise and rush, there are places of calm and relative tranquility to be had - even in the depths of the grumbling urban jungle. He and a team of artists and designers resolved themselves to create an online space which would document, through crowdsourcing, the quiet spaces within major cities… an endeavour which they now call ‘Stereopublic’.
“I think of this project as a sonic health service for built environments” says Sweeney. “It is a participatory art project that, through the use of an iPhone application, asks members of the public to go out into their cities and find quiet spaces, really encouraging people to think about their hearing.”
The app alerts users to the presence of a quiet space as they pass by giving them the opportunity to explore and enjoy a moment of unexpected peace and serenity. Each user is also invited to become an ‘ear witness’ by walking the streets of their city and documenting on the app the spaces of quiet and calm which they discover along the way. Alternatively if you live in an activated city you will be able to partake in an ‘audio walk’ which will, over the course of an hour, guide you through some of your city’s peaceful public spaces...lovely!
It seems we are not the only ones who really love this idea as there are now dozens of activated cities all over the world...from Belfast to Boston, Adelaide to Austin people are taking action to help discover the quiet places of calm in their cities and share what they find with those around them. It’s a story of real startup success and just goes to show how today more than ever a small local idea can quickly expand and spread to all corners of the world.
To find out more about Stereopublic and download the app visit their website www.stereopublic.net or check out some of these other innovative new apps which we have featured recently on Startacus.
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