Featured, Installations

An object in a space which cannot be seen and cannot be touched, revealing itself in time through the experience of listening. Frozen sound becomes augmented architecture.

Raumklang is a location-specific sound architecture, created and explored by multiple visitors simultaneously. The installation invites you to experience 4-dimensional objects in space, which are perceived through hearing; your perspective and auditory experience morphing constantly as you navigate your way around and through these invisible sonic objects. The work fully engages with the potential of sound, acoustics and interaction in order to move beyond the visual monopoly on architectural experience, activating your innate sense of curiosity and thereby forging deeper relationships between you and the space you are in.

Each Raumklang installation is site-specific: the design process analyses the architectural characteristics of the exhibition space in a technological and perceptual manner, resulting in a custom binaural interactive sound architecture which distills the acoustic features of the location. For this edition for FIBER festival 2021 created in the Atrium, the sonic environment of the Muziekgebouw – from the underwater ferry sounds, glass pane vibrations of the building to the trembling of the trains passing by – has been collected by the artists as a repository of local sound matter. These environmental sounds were then interwoven with an acoustic blueprint of the building based on reflections and standing waves recorded on site. Through a process of re-amplification at the site of presentation, the sonic objects contain unique qualities of the location, such as natural reverb, resonance and reflections.

Through precise and innovative tracking technology custom-built by the artists for this project, you will be able to explore this sonic environment, providing a real-time augmented sonic intensification of the site. High-definition spatialized sound qualities activate visitors’ sense of curiosity and lead them to explore the spatial features and dynamics of a place. The 4-dimensional structure emerges as visitors tilt their head slightly, take a small step forward and then back again: What is this sound, and where does it come from? What is it telling me about this place I’m in? Is this vibration currently in the building or is it a sounding memory? What other sounds are hidden where I can’t see them?

The highly-defined nature of the sonic objects and tracking technology coaxes visitors into paying very mindful detail to their movements and the space they are in. Time slows down as micro-movements result in perceptible changes in the auditory experience. The focus turns inwards to the sounds generated by one’s own movements…and then outwards again to discover new relationships with one’s environment, which is seen in a different light as the predominance of vision gives way to a refreshing perspective based on hearing.

This intensified attention through listening becomes visible as multiple visitors slow down and coordinate their movements as they collectively explore this hyperlocal meta-architecture, discovering an enhanced awareness of this shared cognitive and experiential space. Whereas the headphone often functions as a cocooning and secluding device, in Raumklang the headphone forms the instrument of perception and connection between people. Visitors are experiencing the same invisible objects collectively in a shared space, resulting in a dynamic choreography of exploration. As they do so, they become more aware of the positions of their bodies in relation to others: Are you influencing what I hear? Are we exploring the same invisible space? Will I hear the same thing you are hearing when I stand where you are standing?

Raumklang premiered during FIBER festival 2021 at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, follow our blog and instagram feed to keep up to date:
Initiated by Zeno van den Broek & Robin Koek

Raumklang is co-produced by V2_ institute for the unstable media
This project is supported by the Creative Industries Fund NL, STEIM and Gerrard Street