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Steps and Marches Collective

The Steps and Marches Collective combines the skills and expertise of Lieven Bertels, Mark Burman, and Marcin Dudek. Bertels, who currently works as the head of Immersive Experience at Barco, has spent the past two decades curating sound and visual experiences, from the Sydney Festival to the Momentary arts center. For the past three decades, Burman has worked as a producer, presenter, and journalist, mainly for the BBC Radio Documentaries, while maintaining a freelance practice as a writer and sound producer. Dudek is a visual artist, whose practice explores the various layers of sports as social spectacle, and the group dynamics it generates in and outside of the stadium.

Artist Statement

The Steps and Marches Collective is interested in considering the chants of spectators at a football match as a social phenomena in itself. For this project, we propose Tottenham Stadium as a location of research. There, we will conduct workshops and record samples from football matches. We will research social interactions inside and around the stadium by creating field recordings and sound maps of the landscape; we will also interview local athletes and fans, asking about their memories of sounds perceived during matches, questioning the effect that these had on their experience.

Using this material, we will investigate the link between the audience and the sound it emits: this choir of songs and chants is a sonic experience produced and received by the same people, influencing their emotions as well as their behavior. At Maastricht University, we will investigate the relationship between sound and memory. Burman will create sound recordings and VR simulations of crowd chants, then play them for persons (including Dudek) who have been traumatized by the sudden outbreak of violence in a football stadium. Dudek and the other participants will listen inside of an MRI, under the experienced eye of Beatrice de Gelder, in hopes of visualizing the location of a traumatic memory, triggered by sound, inside of the body.

Combining the data from these two laboratories with our field research at Tottenham Stadium, we might start to map the spectrum of emotions that are expressed by the voice of the crowd, from the joyful feeling of unity to possible warning signs of violence.

Project : Home Field Advantage

Home Field Advantage questions the chants and jeers at a football match as a social phenomena in itself. Through sound recordings from within Tottenham Stadium, workshops, and research in the laboratories of ReSilence partners, the Steps and Marches Collective will produce a new body of artworks, which will be exhibited at OOF Gallery, within the walls of the stadium itself.

Steps and Marches past works

Neoplan, installation view at Edel Assanti London, 2023, p5, Image credits: By Authors
Steps and Marches, Installation view at Edel assanti, 2017, Image credits: By Authors
The Group, installation view at Kunsthal Antwerp, 2023. Image credits: By Authors