JUST BE CREATIVE.
A sonic revitalisation of Księży Młyn, Łódź
Lodz is a post-industrial city whose heyday as the centre of the textile industries has long passed. In recent years, an extensive regeneration (revitalisation) program has gradually began to revive the third most populous city in Poland. Creativity has been identified as an appropriately distinguishing characteristic from other rival cities within Poland inspired by the work of those such as Richard Florida and Charles Landry. A rebranding exercise has been carried out to reposition Lodz as a hub for creativity to shake off its reputation as a “city of pathologies” due to high unemployment and related issues of poverty, alcoholism and crime.
The work is based on ambivalent views on the regeneration and rebranding of Lodz. Sonic branding was created to further pursue the agenda of the city’s “Lodz Creates” campaign aiming to attract and develop the creative industries. It was sung by the virtual idol Hatsune Miku who originates from Japan which has had an extensive campaign of “soft power” in recent years in order to promote its contemporary popular culture. Various notions of “creativity” are juxtaposed. The video features local residents most of whom would not be considered as part of the creative class and working in the creative industries. They participate in the nominally creative activity of singing. The song itself satirises the city’s questionable use of the term “creativity”. The project also involved interviews with the local residents on their thoughts on regeneration, and the playback of the sonic branding in the vicinity of the gallery using directional audio technology.
The work was created for Pracownia Portretu sponsored by Transatlantyk Festival and Asia Culture Institute.