soundscape in motion

a sound installation for eight carrier boxes

Exhibition “Blicklandschaften”
by the chair of landscape architecture Christophe Girot, Faculty of Architecture, ETH
in cooperation with the ICST and the Department of Physics, ETH Zurich
15.5. – 28.5.2010, Polyterrasse, ETH Zurich
exhibition design: Nadine Schütz

Exhibition Blicklandschaften, 2010, Polyterrasse Zürich, Photos by Nadine Schütz

The sounds we perceive in everyday life range from very dominant sounds to sounds which can be subconsciously ignored. This creates an impression of a hierarchically structured acoustic panorama, which is divided into an acoustic foreground and background. Foreground noises, such as warning signals, sounds which helps us to orient ourselves as well as other loud and nearby noises are perceived clearly. On contrary, sounds and signals which are not necessary for orientation as well as quiet and remote noises are likely to be suppressed.

This hierarchy of sounds played an integral role in my installation, being part of the Blicklandschaften exhibition initiated by the Department of Landscape Architecture at the ETH Zurich. Furthermore, the Polyterrasse with its exceptional location, its spatial expansion and the setup of various boxes and containers inspired me to transform the place into a spacious stageset in public space. Moving sounds were distributed across the entire terrace by eight wooden boxes containing loudspeakers. Thus, the theme of perceiving soundscapes and the sound material, transformed into a musical form, were combined with a spatial concept.

Karin Wetzel