About aifoon

aifoon is an arts organisation that sets listening in motion

If Hendrik Conscience taught his people how to read, aifoon want to teach our people how to listen. Because sound also has some things to say, we think. Because it is beautiful, rich and layered. And because our ears teach us different things from our eyes. They experience the same reality, certainly, but do not distil the same bits of truth from it.

Listening as experience

aifoon is not about music or voice; our focus is on sounds, listening and especially listening experience.

aifoon is active in the field of sound and listening. At aifoon our focus is not music or voice but sounds, noises and, above all, the experience of listening itself. This experience is characterised by all kinds of factors of which we are not always aware: space, movement, the body, context, culture, personal memories, mood, and so on. For example, did you know that you listen differently when you’re in love? Or when you’re hungry?

Our activities are guided by questions like:

  • What effect does sound have on you? How does sound spark your imagination?
  • Do we only listen with our ears?
  • What precedes a sound and what is left behind?
  • How do you experience silence? Does silence actually exist?
  • How do space, movement and acoustics affect your listening experience?
  • What role do sounds play in the world around you?
  • …?

Close your eyes, prick up your ears

We live in a society in which images and visual stimulation dominate. aifoon seeks to encourage people to prick up their ears and not only experience their environment by looking but also by listening.

During our creative projects, participants discover their own approach to listening as well as that of others. We guide them through an adventure on which they rediscover the act of listening.

Walk so silently that the bottoms of your feet become ears.
(Pauline Oliveros)

By making sounds very physical, tactile and spatial, we open a little door in your head that can never be closed again. A doorway to sound and to everything that a person, or even a whole humanity, can do with it. And that is a lot: from simply hearing more to building a world that takes into account how all those vibrations move us as humans.

Why ‘aifoon’?

‘ai’ is the Japanese word for ‘love’ and ‘harmony’,
while ‘foon’ comes from the Ancient Greek word for ‘sound’.

Starting from our love of sound, listening and art, aifoon's mission is to provide artistic opportunities for people, society and the arts to make their listening more active, open and creative through creations, knowledge sharing and research.

We want to create an impact that makes people reflect on the value of sound, the quality of their listening and the auditory environment they are part of.

For aifoon, listening is a critical and co-creative means of achieving artistic, social and cultural dialogue.

The artistic operations of aifoon revolve around three participatory pillars:

  • listening (together) = co-listening
  • the creative possibilities of listening and sound = co-creation
  • artistic design of our living and listening environments = co-designing

We share the knowledge we gain in our work through our knowledge base Wikifoon and our network.

artistic co-ordinator Stijn Dickel (c) Tine Declerck

Our collaboratory

We conduct a long-term, relentless investigation into sound in all its forms and waves. We probe for the poetry of sounds that hardly anyone notices and engage in our discoveries together with our audience. Call us artists with the attitude of a scientist: always starting from a question, without knowing where the answer will lead.

aifoon investigates the movement, dimensions and scope of listening in all kinds of ways: from short tasters to in-depth and long-term projects, on the stage and in museums, in schools and in studios, in urban and rural environments, with specialists but most of all with the general public.

We capture sounds and use them as raw materials for artistic productions and participative projects such as audio walks, aural massages and sound compositions. But we also give workshops and take up residency in museums and other cultural institutions..

We are never finished, always continuing to build on what each experiment teaches us: a method we develop for a workshop is then further explored in a performance and later forms the basis for a debate on how sound helps shape our city.

aifoon itself is also constantly in motion: as a nomadic arts organisation we see the world as our workspace. Co-creation is central to what we do, together with various partner organisations, artists and the general public, but also with key players in a range of fields, including youth work, education, care, architecture, environment and urban planning.

Only by working together in this way can we build towards a richer listening culture and develop an artistic and societal discourse with regard to listening, silence and acoustics.


Dok-Noord 4F/204
9000 Gent
+32 494 544 391

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