vertical sounds   I   structures [ bernau ]

site-specific Sound Installation
Water Tower Bernau, Germany
eight loudspeakers


as a part of the ongoing artistic research series structures […], this installation engages with and derives from the sonic environment of the Wasserturm in Bernau. It is an artifact of a year-long research process conducted on site by the artist. The research findings were used to create a fixed composition for and from this site, resulting in a subtle intervention.

The installation site was chosen, due to it’s architectural features. In most sound installations allow recipients to explore the established sound field in its entirety. They move around and can choose from a variety of positions from which they can perceive the installation situation. In vertical sounds the possible perceptive positions are drastically reduced. Recipients were not allowed to ascend the staircase, where the loudspeakers were placed. They were not able to locate the loudspeakers or differentiate the sound signals due to a lack of perspective. Therefore the visitor was confronted with a situation of reduced privilege. She or he could only concentrate on what was (diffusely) audible from their position. This was supported by a lack of visual activity within the space. The site is located in a small town outside Berlin, so it was most probable that only a few visitors would show up at a time. Hence a visitor was thrown back on themselves within in a reduced place with barely audible sounds. Only by a calm and attentive manner of listing over a longer period of time the static and lacking impression of the installation situation opened and established its full potential. The composition is a sonic environment of gradual (re-)formation, ensuing in perpendicular movement and thus fully accentuating the space’s acoustics and qualities.


Support: Stadtwerke Bernau // Electronic studio - TU Berlin

Pictures: Robert Stokowy