Written by Danae Stefanou and Yannis Kotsonis-
Syros Sound Meetings is an ongoing initiative for aural interventions, workshops, artist residences and research projects on the Ano Syros hill, as well as the wider Northern Syros region (“Apano Meria”). The initiative was launched by acte vide, in collaboration with Syros Institute, in 2012, and has since included collaborations with over 150 artists from 17 countries.
At the centre of Sound Meetings is an active, critical engagement with sound and listening, as well as the concept of a meeting, not just in the sense of an artistic encounter, but also as an open, dynamic context for interaction between human agency, nature and cultural environment. Sound is considered not as a means of generating surplus value, but as a medium for self-reflexivity and re-negotiation of our own positionality and relationship to a place.
Between 2012 and 2022, the initiative took the form of site-specific composition, recording and improvisation workshops, and introduced international residency programs for sound and audiovisual artists in Syros. These programs included some of the earliest thematic group residencies in Greece (Sounding Paths, Khora & Sound/Word), as well as individual, purpose-built artistic interventions and research collaborations (Genius Loci & Transmissions), both through open call and personal invitation processes.
Sound Meetings sometimes operate as a self-funded endeavour, and sometimes in the context of funding partnerships, but consciously resist the concept of organizational growth in the sense of acceleration. The role that we assume as founders & curators is also variable, often balancing between organizational and artistic labour and blurring the boundaries between the two, depending on the structure and theme of each activity.
Coordination – curation: acte vide (Yannis Kotsonis & Danae Stefanou)
Administrative organization: Syros Institute (2012 – today)
Associate partnerships: Syros International Film Festival (2015 & 2021), Onassis Stegi (2017-2022)
Co-funded by: INTERFACES (Creative Europe, 2017-2019), Transmissions (EEA / Norway Grants 2020-22)