In der Schwebe

German Sound Art Prize 2006 Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl, WDR

Below the city hall towers in the town of Marl.

56 pieco-speakers, 56 relays, computer

»Dyffort and Driesch also had a reference to formal, architectonic, as well as social and political structures in mind when they developed the In der Schwebe project for the city hall towers in the town of Marl in 2006, for which they received the German Sound Art Prize. They used acoustic events to create or elucidate spatial and location-driven relations as well as balances of power. Built in the 1960s, the towers symbolised the attempt to create a political and social centre in Marl that would promise new positive perspectives within the context of the economic and social situation of the time. A seemingly futuristic building with a novel hanging construction–a small foundation with a marginal contact surface for ground motion and load-bearing wedges—was created, on which the individual floors were “suspended”.
This makes the office floors seem like they are swaying above the earth—with an empty head space below them. Dyffort and Driesch use this space to allow the architectonic and urban planning arrangement to be tangible in a new way and to question its unique design. The clicking sounds created by the many piezo loudspeakers stimulated by electrical impulses also served as material here. The piezos were attached under the first floor along the supporting 28 hanging elements and created something like a “multisensoral” echo sounder below the tower, where there are either deep underpasses, green spaces or parks on different levels. This installation’s acoustic events, or the clicking sounds, are pre-programmed and represent a system that kick-starts and generates itself and a constant balancing of active forces. Chaotic, swaying and oscillating sound patterns can be heard. The towers, in a process that strives for equilibration following renewed disturbances, make these sound patterns seem as if they are swinging, over and over again. In this way, the In der Schwebe installation also highlights the relativity of externally stable conditions and allows a commonly prevailing principle or “natural” chaos to be heard that seems to counteract existing states, but is also a precondition for power, energy and motion.«

(positionen, 70, Beiträge zur Neuen Musik, Februar 2007, Melanie Uerlings)

©dyffort & driesch