urbanrecall is an experimental > research-practice-based project which represented its initial auditive-visual results irst in 2018.

When we [Ali Chakav, Joel Jaffe and Navid Razavi] started to share our thoughts, ideas, and interests on this collaborative project during our final stages of studying at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne-Germany.

This is a  is a reflection on the phenomena of urban vivid environment, its flow, resonation, vibration and chaos of information, which respectively affect the shapes of its architecture and our lives.

urabanrecall questions the methods of transformations of the urban environment and how we perceive it as individuals or collectives. The vibration of any phenomenon in any scale and its effect and interaction/communication with other particles is our point of interest and focus.

Analog to this question we create concepts, collect sonic, visual and forensic material of this very environment and transform these in serial immersive or transmedial, sitespecific performances.

an artistic research project


Project overview

The artistic research project urbanrecall is a multi-layered attempt to explore the complexity of human perception of the outside world through audible frequencies and the visible spectrum. Observation and experience play an essential role in the context of everyday life, which we perceive with the help of different sensory modules.

We do not want to be restricted by stereotypical assumptions from cultural anthropology, cognitive science, or cybernetics, which have strongly influenced the environment in general and urban life in particular.

We are more interested in an encounter that deals with the intensity and changeability of matter and mediality.  We would like to create an Intermedia space which reflected and criticizes this speculative condition in a multispectral behavior by video and audio elements.

Project description


Who am I? The fundamental question from «I don›t know» age until now. But what›s really the role of «I», when it›s surrounded and dominated by themes and subjects such as Name, Nationality, Gender, Religion and…

How many of these properties are nominative and how many are objective. For many reasons, as human being we experience so specific periods of time. lots of definitions are deconstructed and many issues try to represent and redefine itself.

As contemporary Man, who deals with «Anatomy of Paradox», the identity has become a multispectral phenomenon because we›ve become more complicated than yesterday at five in the afternoon. how to considering «Individuality», when we have already categorized and summarized as a numerical algorithm, happy with a password in head and feeling safe in our illusion of privacy.

As smart age Man, we construct our self-image through social networks. Apart from that this image how much is really belong to us or it is a fantasy of what we want to be or even dictated to us.; we publish it. we share our challenge, we demonstrate ourselves to receiving a signal.

We observe and cause the disturbance of the landscape, simultaneously. Our being and everyday life have engaged with so many things: Urban culture, City ecology, social psychology, and… In this sense, identity is an «Interactive challenge» which goes beyond the stereotype definitions which makes us think about «Collective iconic and echoic identity». Therefore there is no way than reciting parallel and investigating phenomenologically in an expanded form of thinking. because we live in a speculative and nonlinear age, so this project aims to recreate a parallel perspective of this fragile condition, which works like an «Alarm station» to represent the question: «Where are we?»



Motorways create islands of forest areas currently being formed between junctions of urban infrastructure. In these areas, the urban city expands its infrastructural fabric deep into the landscape. The space that is bypassed through this condition ist labeled now as in between and moves into the background of perception.

What happens to our definitions of space and reality when we consider the city as an all-embracing synthesizer that makes us able to walking in and around.? The influence of increasing mobility as well as its impact, among other things on the hearing, which is confronted with new permanent frequencies of trucks, cars and motorcycles mark a new period of time in which a subtle noise reaches ubiquitous presence. Our project will be a synaesthetic investigation, which deals with the awareness of the invisible but powerful structures of the city. The source of the work of the investigation will be from references and cross-references of sensory, collective, and cultural memory.

The mise-en-scène of urban architecture and its auditory accompaniments is intended to illustrate the growing number of urban spaces and the transformation of the landscape: Where does the city cease and where does land begin? We encounter this question with audiovisual experiential image-topologies, which give this complex state a form. The web of complexity manifests itself in the smooth and straight forms of contemporary urban architecture. Man is no longer the reference of the topographic construction of urban spaces. It is all about logistics, transport, and industry – all according to standardized trade-specific constants.


Our focus is on the representability of a space-timecontinuum, which is characterized by urban spaces. In their form, the architecturally urban spaces are the expression of sociopolitical ideas and intentions of a specific period of time. Their impact on space in general and the contemporary human lives in particular and also their impact on the future should become a bit more clear. Our focus is on the perceptibility of the expansion of materials such as concrete and steel, which are durable for over a hundred years and their implicit intervention on the various periods of the time. The spread of urban infrastructure beyond the city space and their entering of rural areas is evidence of transformation processes. These should be made visible through visual and auditory layers of experience.

We are particularly interested in the density of the processes, flows, and mechanisms in a landscape, which is oriented towards a global temporality and loses itself in the forms of urban fragmentation. In detail, it expresses their speed based character, which fights against time. It can only be experienced when moments of encounter take up the spacetime continuum of industrial processes and reveal their cycles of monofunctional landscapes.

Therefore the work will be an installation that exposes the viewers to the topos of perpetual urban organizational structures.

For the realization of the work, we follow the approach of local participation and the encounter, which allows us to enter the moment of improvisation with the urban chaos. In this sense, we will investigate different soundscapes within urban junctions in order to reflect on what is aesthetically perceptible within an auditive milieu. This work approach refers to our everyday space-time experience and helps to understand and illuminate the intuitive knowledge embedded into the urban space.



The previous presentation of the project: urbanrecall_01

  • Presented at the Academy of Media Arts CologneAudiovisual live performance 60 Min

4x audio & 3x video Installation urbanrecall_02 2018      Presented at KHG Cologne

Audiovisual live performance 60 min and Installation

8x audio, and 4x video urbanrecall_03

  • Presented at IKLECTIK ArtLab, London, UK

Audiovisual live performance 50 min,

4x audio,  2x video urbanrecall_04

Presented in COLLUMINA Light Art Project

  • at Schokoladenmuseum,Cologne-Germany.Audiovisual live performance 4 h and Installation

In collaboration with Shabnam Azar [Poet and Word-performer

8x audio – 4x video-light

www.urbanrecall.net www.alichakav.com Joel and navid?