Social Dive (International)

Free Seat

Pedro Carneiro Silva + Ardalan Aram

<Tokyo Biennale 2020 SOCIAL DIVE Artist-in-Residence Projects>

A keyboard and an empty chair with headphones are placed in an urban space. A song is created in the moment for every person who takes a seat. This performance piece is an invitation to stop for a moment and dive into another realm within the public space. No explanation, no rules and no expectations are set, just a moment of encounter through music.

“Free Seat” is a collaboration between the Brazilian musician Pedro Carneiro Silva and the Iranian/German conceptual artist & filmmaker Ardalan Aram.

By promoting random encounters, the project seeks to act in the daily life of the city and raise questions about human relations through art. The participant, by overcoming the natural distrust of what is being offered to him and joining the proposal to take a seat, goes from the role of a spectator to co-author of the creation process, insofar as his attitude directly influences the music that is created in the moment.

(As of February 2021)

1: 《Free Seat – Encounter》2018, Frankfurter Tor – Berlin, Photo by Ardalan Aram
Link to performance:
2: 《Free Seat》2016, Hermannplatz – Berlin, Photo by Ardalan Aram
Link to performance:
3: 《Free Seat – Brasil》2019, General Osório – Rio de Janeiro, Photo by Ardalan Aram
Link to performance:


Pedro Carneiro Silva + Ardalan Aram

Pedro Carneiro Silva (Pianist, Composer, Performer)
Pedro Carneiro Silva is a pianist, composer and performer from Rio de Janeiro. His creative musical process stands out for an innovative approach that explores the interaction between experiences, feelings and music. In the “Free Seat” project, in partnership with Ardalan Aram, Pedro creates music for people during random encounters in the city and in “O Trampolim de Oiticica” project,
his music is created through performances that explore social and personal issues. Pedro also collaborates with artists from around the world and has conducted concerts and workshops throughout Europe, Asia and Brazil. He holds a degree in Brazilian Music from UNIRIO (Rio de Janeiro) and a Masters in Jazz Piano from Escola Superior de Musica (Lisbon). Pedro was a guest piano and composition faculty in two of the main music institutes in India – Global Music Institute (Delhi) and SAM (Chennai).

Photo by Bel Junqueira

Ardalan Aram (Conceptual artist, Filmmaker)
There is one word that is in the center of everything that Ardalan Aram creates: Feeling. The Iranian-German conceptual artist & filmmaker believes that true connection is possible through our raw human experiences, no matter if evoked by a film, an installation, a performance piece or simply by a new perspective on the ordinary. “Anonymous cities create anonymous people, a separation between you and me, them and us. I believe that we need more spaces that allow strangers to show their vulnerability and connect through sharing a feeling with each other.” In collaboration with the composer and pianist Pedro Carneiro Silva he created the “Free Seat Project” and has been placing the living installation throughout cities like Berlin, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

Photo by Rambod Rastegar