Experience Albuquerque anew — all you have to do is listen.
German artist Robert Stokowy’s series of eight conceptual sound installations — what he calls structures [ albuquerque ] — are atypical: There are no prerecorded, composed soundscapes to listen to. Instead, he asks listeners to take in the naturally occurring sounds in the environment around them, to engage their senses and attune to the world of nature.
“Sounds rise up to the sky and form abstract objects,” he said in a statement. “The ground comes to life and reveals its true nature and silence emerges as a force that is able to set all plants into motion.”
Pole-mounted signs (with a striking resemblance to official sightseeing markers) at each location provide instructions for attentive listening. You’ll also find short poems by Stokowy, inspired by the environment and intended to spark the imagination. As you let your sensory experience guide you, he invites you to create an artwork in your mind based on your experience of place.
Sites include the Calabacillas Arroyo, Los Poblanos Fields, Manzano Four Hills, and the Open Space Visitor Center, as well as the following hiking areas: Pino Trail, Los Duendes Loop/Arroyo Seco Trail, Embudo Trail, and River Loop Trail.
The signs — installed at points along these routes that were chosen for their visual and sonic qualities — also feature QR codes that take you to Stokowy’s website, robert-stokowy.de/structures-albuquerque. There you can find GPS links to all of the locations and a downloadable brochure. For the walking-impaired, a book version is available on demand by visiting robert-stokowy.de. The cost is $10.
The project is supported by the City of Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department’s Open Space division and by Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe. The project runs through April 2020.