This is an abstract from the Beyond Listening symposium program.

Envisioning possible futures through sound mapping: House of Culture Družba

Ján Solčáni

Thursday 23 November — Presentations

14.00 — 14.30

Documentation of the lecture

The project takes an interdisciplinary approach to explore, by sound and space, the abandoned former Družba cultural house in Levice, Slovakia and its relevance to memory and meaning in the near future defined by the increasingly pressing manifestations of climate change. Learning from Družba’s past, which was defined by the political and social transformation manifested by the gradual ruination of the building and its original meanings, the field research, proposes a symbiotic relationship between humans and non-humans, including plants and objects as a prerequisite for resilience and survival in challenging climatic conditions. The concept involved reimagining the building and its surroundings as a laboratory for the investigation of survival, viewed through the prism of sound studies, sociology and ethnography. This entailed conducting various forms of research, including in-situ and desk research, qualitative and ethnographic research, in-depth interviews, field data analysis, SWOT analysis, sound, spatial, and performative mapping and storytelling, to shape two future scenarios which directly reflect the state of the place, its histories, and ecological and resulting social changes in the years 2030 and 2050 (important milestones of strategic documents, e.g. on the reductions in carbon emissions). The scenarios are based on feminist, political and ecological theory, drawing on works of comparative planetology that allow us to ask, “For whom are we planning the future?”

The talk is accompanied by photographs (Dominika Jackuliaková) and field recordings (me & Tatiana Heuman) from the mapping processes.


Ján Solčáni moves in his practice between the positions of curator, sound artist and theoretician. His field of interest lies in the phenomena of culture that are perceivable and expressible with sound. He organises a lecture series on contemporary art practice and theory Videogram, is co-founder and curator of the music label Skupina, curator of the listening archive Unseen and he organizes activities of the Roman Radkovič Collective. He is currently completing his PhD studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Brno, Czechia.

Ján Solčáni. photo: M.V. Skupina