Sounding Acceptance

Sounding Acceptance is a project with youth using sound pedagogy-based activity including 16-25 years olds in Finland, Norway, Denmark & Iceland. We will facilitate & empower curatorial work experience, starting before Pixelache Festival 2021, towards youth contribution to Pixelache’s programme 2021

This project is currently in planning process, with ambition to begin in Spring 2021.


This cultural production and curatorial project includes language and culture exchange for young adults (16-25 years old), using a ‘sound pedagogy’ methodology and focuses on the theme of ‘acceptance’. As a starting point, acceptance is viewed as the process or fact of being received as adequate, valid, and allows somebody to have a sense of belonging. Listening, from this perspective, will be used as a tool in various ways:

* Learning to listen (deep listening to acoustic environments, features, transitions, self)
* Learning to communicate and translate (between persons, generations, ages, languages, including localisation)
* Learning to share audio content (for example radio, acoustic design, podcasts, streaming) 
* Challenging audio and sound platforms as a means to create inclusive and transnational spaces

In the context of listening, and audio-based interpretation, we believe acceptance is an important theme because, biologically, we have open ears, but for many persons over the recent 30 years, there is increasingly a separation made in domestic and public space between persons due to the use of headphones, ear-buds or plugs etc. While narrow-casting and streaming one’s particular tastes or interests (in music, discourse, podcasts, channels), we also remove oneself from engaging in public discourse, engaging with others, making our own private worlds of listening. Dis-engaging acoustically from public space, for example on public transport, means also missing out on something witnessed acoustically in one’s local environment, including one’s own or others’ languages. While recognised that agency to be in a bubble or not is important, it is also a choice. So is swapping headphones, splitting channels, and sharing buds, tongues, words and language. How about developing this action, and being on the receiving side? What is deep listening, and what are people trying to say, and/or do? What is our environment telling us, about where we are, who we are with?

According to educators who work with youth in media, “One of the obvious benefits to our approach is that we control the language of identity and articulation by reversing a passive model of media consumption into an active pedagogical practice.” We further that notion that  curation of content in public festival context “gives students the control to express themselves in ways that they are more comfortable while adding legitimacy to their message. In our experience this can sometimes create a greater motivation and spur more imaginative creations than a more traditional textually-based curriculum. When students become critical and competent ‘producers’ as we encourage them to be, abundant educative possibilities open up for them to have a direct impact on the social issues they are exploring” (2016: M. Droumeva, D. Murphy). Sharing the control is our ambition. Sharing intergenerational, international, interdisciplinary knowledge through active participation and learning is key in our project process. Giving space and courage for youth to experiment, gain knowledge, and build a voice as well as be heard and open perspectives on different approaches to culture production is what we aim to facilitate.

During the year of meetings the young adults will explore thematic ‘Acceptance’ from different angles via 4-6 workshop leaders. They will develop individual projects as well as group projects for the exchange as a means to building platforms for empathy, understanding different perspectives, and encouraging open source ideology. The implementation of the creative and educational content offers the children the opportunity to be in contact with new colleagues/friends from all the participating Nordic countries. This cross-generational and multi-disciplinary project will cultivate cultural awareness by giving concrete understanding of how artistic language can communicate and overcome barriers set by our spoken languages. Our main working language will be English, but everybody is encouraged to speak in a language they feel best expresses their sentiments.

The main production and coordination of all parties is directed by the artist and educator Arlene Tucker and artist and researcher Andrew Gryf Paterson, who are both based in Helsinki. Both are experienced in leading youth pedagogy & facilitation projects in Finnish and International contexts, who will take responsibility for the quality of the production, appropriate facilitation and development of the groups towards curation of audio content by youth within Pixelache’s 2021 autumn programme. The project results will extend beyond the duration of the two festivals due to our experience and expertise within Pixelache & project leaders’ productions, with open knowledge and culture approach, using commons-orientated licenses. We will seek cooperation partners, to test the parallel knowledge-transfer test, to continuously test what of our process is understandable and transferable beyond Helsinki.

A programme of monthly online meetings will address each of the 4 listening themes, in between the two Pixelache Festivals in the scope of this project, between June and September 2021 (date to be confirmed) as pedagogical training and collaboration, towards empowering the youth in our project (as well as future pedagogues or youth workers) towards curating and gaining experience working with a transdisciplinary arts and culture festival which is renowned in the Nordic and international context. Ideally, based on Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic conditions, the project also contains two presence-based group meetings at the Pixelache Helsinki Festival 2021 & following in Autumn 2021. 

For more information contact: sounding.acceptance [-at-]


Proposed schedule

The project is a programme of monthly online meetings over 6 months, which will address each of the 4 listening themes in project description, with 4 workshop leaders over from May to July  2021. 

Two physical gatherings will ideally take place (Coronavirus conditions allowing): 
1. Pixelache Helsinki Festival for 3 days between 6-13 June 2021. 
2. Hybrid gathering of physical and remote participants will close the project in Helsinki and Joutsa in September 2021 (dates to be confirmed), focused on sound arts curated by the youth groups.

For organizers: March 1-October 31, 2021
For youth participants as culture producers: May 1-September 30, 2021


March 2021 - The project will start bureacratically. We (partners) make an open call for the young culture producers to join the project. 

April 2021 - Open call closes and we hold youth interviews by partners.

May 2021 - Bi-weekly meetings begin with the whole group virtually to discuss participation and attendance in Pixelache Helsinki Festival 2021.  Anna Fält makes 1st voice workshop to all participants remotely. Antonia Folguera makes 1st podcast workshop, introducing how to connect, include and disseminate information and ideas with each other and with the public.

June 6-13, 2021 - Pixelache Helsinki Festival 2021 at Oodi Central Library in Helsinki, Finland.  Arlene Tucker will host 3 days of workshops and meetings with professionals on how to curate, with team building exercises, and collectively brainstorm theme of ‘acceptance’. Festival programme with contingency plan of live streaming for an international audience, if there are travel restrictions.

June 2021 - July 2021 Bi-weekly meetings continue with workshops given by Anna Fält (voice), Eduardo Abrantes (audio-walk), Charlotte Thiis-Evensen (film & presentation), and Antonio Folguera (podcast). The group members during these two months curate the audio arts exhibition, to be launched in September, accessible via online and at respective locations in Finland.

August 2021 - Marketing & communications of September event, preparing launch of project results. Groups will decide method of how to continue the skill-sharing for future young culture producers.

September 2021 - They will create an event as part of Pixelache programme 2021 which takes place in Suvilahti, Helsinki, and TUO TUO’s venue as a camp exibition in central Finland.

October 2021 - Arlene Tucker, Andrew Paterson, and team will write the final report and outcomes as well as a means to continue the project for the following year.


Project initiators

Arlene Tucker (Taiwan/USA/Finland) is an installation artist and educator interested in adding play elements to daily life through her art. Inspired by translation studies, animals and nature, she finds ways to connect and make meaning in our shared environments. Her process-based artistic work creates spaces and situations for exchange, dialogue, and transformations to occur and surprise all players. 

Andrew Gryf Paterson (Scotland/Finland) is an "artist-organiser", cultural producer, educator, independent researcher, based since late 2002 in Helsinki, Finland. Specialises in developing and leading inter- and trans- disciplinary projects exploring connections between art, digital culture and science, cultural activism, ecological and sustainability movements, cultural heritage and collaborative networks. What is left behind as social, digital, material & ephemeral residue of 'being t/here' has been a consistent concern. More or less archived here: