Active Listening Sites

Active Listening Sites

Active Listening Sites

A new stadtmusik work, tying together a lot of what we were working on in the past couple of years.

The physical configuration of the built environment generates a wide spectrum of acoustic effects. Even while they usually remain unnoticed, these acoustic phenomena actively support our orientation in the city and provide a sense of place.
For the exhibition, we have assembled an inventory of urban auditory situations illustrating some of these effects in the vicinity of the architecture forum. We provide a visitor of these places with instructions that facilitate awareness of these effects and decode the underlying interaction between the physical environment and the soundscape. By contrasting these situations with videos of similar situations in other cities around the world, we show shared principles and seek answers to questions such as: why do some urban spaces seem to attract or repel us? What information is being offered to our senses, what information gets lost?
We want to initiate a conversation about the soundscape as a shared, collectively owned resource, its synesthetic interactions and atmospheric elements. Stadtmusik scrutinizes the role of public space as a space of performance that provides a frame through its structures and inter-dependencies.

dust serenade at MIT museum

dust serenade at MIT museum

dust serenade at MIT museum

Our new project in the dust series:

Markus Decker, Dietmar Offenhuber, Orkan Telhan

Dust Serenade‘ is a reenactment of an acoustic experiment done by German physicist August Kundt. Inspired by the Chladni’s famous sand figures visualizing sound waves in solid materials, Kundt devised an experiment for visualizing longitudinal sound waves through fine lycopodium dust; a setup that would allow him to measure the speed of sound in different gases.

Kundt was a strong believer in experimental methods over purely theoretical inquiry in a time when the disciplines of theoretical and experimental physics started to diverge.

‘Dust Serenade’ intends to remind us the materiality of sound. Tubes filled with scraps of words and letters–cut-up theory–interact with sound waves and turn into figures of dust. Here, visitors can modulate the frequency of the sound emitted by moving a rod and create different harmonic sound effects. As sound waves figure, refigure, and disfigure the text, we invite visitors to rethink about the tension between their theorical knowlegde and the sensory experience.

Dust Serenade is one of a series of interactive sound projects that enable visitors to experience the physical aspects of sound, presence, and atmosphere. Works in the series have been shown at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Zagreb, Istanbul and São Paulo.

The project was funded by the Council for the Arts at MIT and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK)

dust till dawn

dust till dawn

dust till dawn

fun with lasers, noise and dirt

maex decker, dietmar offenhuber, ushi reiter
DTD kicks up a lot of dust – with atmosphere being its sole medium of interaction. The project is a sound installation for a room with dusty floor, on which a number of phonographs are placed, playing back silent vinyl records. As a result of the visitors movements, particles of dust accumulate in the grooves of empty records and define a musical score. A carpet of monochromatic light visualizes the turbulence in the atmosphere and detects its ephemeral structures, which are directly linked to the noise generated by the dusty records. Over time, the physical impact of the interaction irreversibly consumes the interface and destroys the needles of the phonographs.

project page at servus

Exhibitions: File Festival São Paulo, 2010, uncharted/ Santral Istanbul, March 2009;  touch me festival, Zagreb, Dec. 2008; ars electronica 2006

isotope

isotope

isotope

Isotope is a generative architecture derived from the proportional system of the

Stonborough House (1925, also known as Haus Wittgenstein) designed by the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein and the Austrian architect Paul Engelmann. The house is assembled from seven cubes, arranged in a carefully balanced proportionate system. All elements correspond to each other, and it is impossible to change this system without destroying the balance of volumes and voids.

Starting from a textual representation of the model in the VRML language, the “isotopes” of the original model were created through repeated search and replace operations on the descriptive text.

try the interactive demo

Exhibited: Skopje Electronic Art Fair 1999, Skopje; File Festival, Sao Paolo, 2000; VRML-ART 2000, Monterey, US; re:modern exhibition, Künstlerhaus Vienna

From the installation at re:modern, Künstlerhaus Wien, 2003