Sleep in the City – a collaborative artwork

Smart Aarhus are in a collaborative process with the artists Virgile Novarina and Walid Breidi on the creation of an artwork performance during the June 2019 IOT Festival (Internet of Things) week in Aarhus. This collaboration is a part of the EU STARTS Residency Program.

The artworks are a series of unique videos displayed on screen in Aarhus City Lab from night till morning from June the 15th – June 22nd. Videos of the city taken during the day are recreated and transformed in real time by the pulse of the city (city data), brainwaves from artist Virgile Novarina and brainwaves from a community of Sleepers here in Aarhus.

The artists invite the public to reflect upon the importance of sleep in urban life and the connection with the environment around us in our state of sleeping.

In the video below you will find the people behind the project explaining the idea and concept of Sleep in the City.

The article continues after the video.

The artwork

Volunteers from Aarhus are asked to take videos during the day of their favorite place in Aarhus. Other volunteers are asked to participate in a sleep performance. Virgile Novarina will accompany volunteer sleepers in the project by sleeping publicly in seven different places. He will perform for example in city museums, and Aarhus city lab, just to name a few, and during the performance he will be wearing a headband measuring his five main brainwaves. Four other volunteers from Aarhus will sleep wearing the EEG headbands in their homes. There will be 4 new volunteers for every night of the seven night-long performance, making a total of 28 volunteer sleepers.

The interactive video installation conceived by Walid Breidi will include big screens in the city. People who are strolling or driving by the screens will see videos of their town, transformed by the smart sleepers’ brain waves combined with smart city data thus creating a dream-like atmosphere. These videos are a mash-up of filming material of Aarhus during the day, filmed by its citizens.


Use the interactive map to explore sensors and screens that are key to this project. But the map is also an opportunity to locate your favourite spots of Aarhus. Read more in the sidebar menu-link "Participate" to find out how your favourite spot can be a part of the artwork.