Platz der Weltbeobachtung

(Square of world observation)
temporary, site-specific sound installation for 16 loudspeakers on the square of the world exhibition in Hanover (2012)

“So one observes how others observe, and at the same time one observes the way others observe in a way they cannot observe, because no one sees their own perspective”. (Niklas Luhmann)

The video documents a sound installation for public space that was created especially for the 16-channel sound stele field on the square of the world exhibition in Hanover, dealing with the situation there and which could be heard there four times a day from 13 May to 13 August 2012. A reduced stereo version of this sound installation is now juxtaposed with video recordings that were made on this square at that time and above all captured the reactions of passers-by to the sound installation.

The starting point of this sound installation were recordings of street musicians on the square of the world exhibition in Hanover, which were superimposed simultaneously at 16 different speeds. The virtual space created in this way came back into relation with the real street musicians who were present there on the square, as a kind of distorted acoustic mirror of the square.

In addition, voices of people connected in different ways with this square could be heard from the 16 loudspeakers. They spoke about their personal observations on this square, but above all about the sound installations of various other composers that could be heard there in the two years before, as well as about the question of meaning, function and the expectations of sound art in public space. Through this self-referential thematisation, another virtual space of communication emerged.

Understood in this way, space is not a container or rigid territory, but “a relational order of bodies that are incessantly in motion” (Martina Löw). As an observer of these observations, one had to move in the space, had to take the different standpoints oneself. In the video, one can now also observe the observation of the sound installation by the passers-by on another level.

16 sound steles on the square of the world exhibition, Hanover

Commissioned by Musik 21 Niedersachsen & Kulturbüro Hannover
Prize-winner in the composition and concept competition “My Daily Experiences”
Supported by a composition grant from the State of Lower Saxony
Premiere: 13.05.-13.08.2012, 4 x daily | square of the world exhibition Hanover