obFi

On Board: Spatio-Temporal Composition

[2010::Rundgang@HBK, Braunschweig, germany]

I’ve got the chance to have the whole space of old assembly hall, probably a thousand square metre big,  to realize a sound installation. As soon as this great opportunity had been confirmed, my mind was already decided firmly that I do not want to include any visual elements inside it. I wanted to work only with sounds this time and I wanted that the space is totally empty.
[ On Board ] is 8 channels sound installation that uses the whole indoor architecture as resonance body.
When people go to visit an exhibition, big majority of them expect to “see” something. (as a prove, how many times the visitors asked me, “where’s the exhibition?” or “is exhibition already over?” when I was sitting there in front of my beautiful [ on board ] piece!!) If the work is sound only, then they start to look at the technical equipment; loudspeakers, amplifiers, cables, computers…etc. Some so-called sound artist try to give a sculptural qualities on those things to solve this problem, while some other, again so-called sound artists work principally on the visual side then add some crappy sounds to decorate. I wanted to omit this kind of pathetic compromise as best as I could. I was studying the architecture of the assembly hall and I found numerous possibilities to solve these problems. And I choose the best option that was already standing there: the built in double wall structure at both side of the hall. By using these two walls that were located in ideal position for using the whole space as a sound field, I could successfully hide all the equipment that I needed to create sounds. But then yet another problem arose: how can I diffuse the sounds in the space when the loudspeakers are inside the walls? The solution would be not to use loudspeakers at all but to transform the walls into gigantic loudspeakers. I found the technical solution for this task by using 8 of tactile transducers. I mounted the transducers to those two walls, and wrote a program that controls the vibrating speed and transition time between different positions of transducers. I could create the whole space filled with dense and deep sound waves that are constantly moving following random order. I was sitting inside of my installation for 6 hours per day during the exhibition period because I found nobody to keep the equipment safe, well, uh…no, I wanted to say, because I loved it so much. Even if the constant presence of huge sub bass made me feel sick after an hour or so, (and that’s where the title came from) I could truly enjoy for all this time this gigantic presence of ever-changing, slowly moving sound waves inside a thousand square metre space.

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