From 4 July till 8 July 2008, a workshop was organized for architecture students of the TU Berlin and sound studies students the UdK Berlin on the topic of sound (art) in public space. The unique mixed group developed ideas on how sound design and physical design of public space can be combined, and how public space can be played (function) as an instrument. These ideas were projected on a specific location, the Wriezener Freiraum in Berlin-Friedrichshain.
The location; a “to be-Park” that used to be a part of the Wriezener train station, could be seen as a typical non-place: a space that is defined by its borders, physically and aurally. The location was tested and mapped for its acoustic character and potential (sonotopes) from a sound as well as urban and landscape perspective. The sports potential that was present, linked to playful social acoustic interaction emerged ore even dictated by the location itself, so that spatial en sonic morphing of local elements and interaction created unexpected result.

The sound works give attention to the different activities in the park, inviting people to play, and make the activities audible. Like manipulating the rails with small kerfs and welds and acoustically amplifying its sound, the acoustic potential of the train and the rail network is being explored. The kinetic energy of people is used in an interactive way to set up the basis for new sonotopes.
A series of giant wooden tongue drum boxes is hung on the empty walls, The tongue drums invite the sportsmen to play them; they add a tonal layer to the composition and become a part of the game. Or a special type of stone grills is developed for this place. When the coals burn, hot air is lead through a revolver-construction of low whistles; this allow the griller to choose the tone. Brightly coloured cone-shaped plastic buckets cover the outer sides of the 6-meter high fence of the sports court During a game of basketball or football, the cones will amplify the sound of the impact of a ball against the steel fence. The frequency and intensity will vary according to where the ball hits the fence and how hard one kicks it. These new sonotopes are a blend of foreground and background sounds, like sound objects filed with Berlin flies – Musca domestica In some works the relation between these two is explored: the physical borders of the Wriezener Freiraum are opened aurally. Not only distance but also the natural rhythms make the sonotopes dynamic, and changing each two hours, each day, each week, each shower.

The presentation of the workshop results will take place at Tuned City on the 4th and 5th July 2008.

Composed City is organised by Staalplaat Soundsystem and Lola landscape architects in collaboration with Sound Studies (Universität der Künste Berlin), Technische Universität Berlin and tx – büro für temporäre architektur.

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