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Chôra, in contemporary Greek, means “Country”.  

In the classical period, the chôra was part of the polis, the city. In ancient Greece, the two were not opposed in the way that city and countryside are sometimes opposed today. The chôra was not subject to the city, there was complementarity: those who resided in the city often lived from their land in the chôra and many people from the urban power resided in the chôra.

Chôra also has a philosophical dimension. For philosophers, notably Plato, two terms define place:

  •  the “objective” and mappable place, the one you see in front of you, with its dimensions, its trees, its plants, which could be summarized by: “where is it” “where there is something” .

  • existential matrix, which could be summarized by “why this where”.

Chôra poses many problems for philosophers: it determines the objective dimensions of the place, those in movement, those in becoming, of being and of non-being. It is the sensitive and symbolic dimension of the place, that of the human environment. Chôra still questions us today: how to think about ecology, the relationship between city and countryside, how to take into account the symbolism of places, inhabit them, respect their poetry without placing (or forcing) neutral objects or architecture there -or fetishes- transposable everywhere, disconnected from their environment.

This reflection resonates with the Fishing Walls. Because here we are topos and chôra: objective, geographical place but also nourishing, symbolic and poetic place which links humans to their environment.

The Chôra sound installation attempts to experience this experience. Made of balloons, filled and nourished by the air of the place, fragile and ephemeral, designed for this festival and this moment, it wishes to invite you to a moment of reflection, of listening - or of a nap!

It reacts to sunshine and the force of the wind. It is very disrupted and can fail if too many electronic devices nearby have wifi or bluetooth turned on.  

Its sound material, white noise, is primary: it is found in natural elements such as the sound of waves, the wind, the breathing of mammals… 

The sound diffusion device is largely made up of speakers with transducers: here it is the skin of the balloon which diffuses the sound. Depending on whether they are more or less inflated, depending on the heat and the expansion of the air, this choir breathes a little differently.


Sources: Wikipedia. The Chôra in Plato Augustin Berque (online article) / Space and place in Western thought, Paris, La Découverte, 2012 Thierry PAQUOT and Chris YOUNÈS (dir.) / Ecoumène, Introduction to the study of human environments, Augustin Berque, Belin, 2010

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