While street art has a rich history in terms the formation of the urban landscape, mainly through the appropriation of wall space, Sound Tossing offers a way to play with urban aesthetics through filling space with unique acoustic input. It provides new ways to add meaning to public spaces.
The project was inspired by so-called Shoe Tossing or Shoefiti, the practice of hanging shoes which have been tied together on overhead cables such as power or telephone lines. Sound Tossing operates in a similar way to the visual codes used in Shoe Tossing; speakers are connected via cables to audio components which function in this form of urban communication as “throwing tools”.
A key area is the development and distribution of open source technologies for sound interventions in the context of street art. The Sound Tossing units offered include sound generators which operate with solar energy and motion sensors or timers as well as units that convert electromagnetic frequencies into acoustic signals. Some units are equipped with recording functionality and/or transmitters so they in essence become small pirate radio stations. Detailed assembly instructions and video demonstrations for each project are provided so they can easily be set up by anyone.
Sound Tossing is a resistance movement. It is aimed a countering the dominance of acoustic advertising and new sound security tools intended to prevent young people from congregating in specific areas such as in public places and outside shops. Sound Tossing is instead a subtle sound intervention. It impacts and alters the normal course of urban life while encouraging discussion of topics such as acoustic overstimulation and public well-being. Moreover, Sound Tossing increases public awareness of the acoustic environment.