grenzenlose freiheit

interactive sound installation

»grenzenlose freiheit« in berlin: inscription


the »grenzenlose freiheit« has been inscribed into three connected rooms of the old "staatsbank" building in the center of berlin. the three spaces, which are connected through two small doors, possess quite distinct acoustic features ranging from rather dry and spacious, over small and more responsive to large and very reverberant. the aura of the empty old communist office spaces has been left untouched with the exception of an oriental carpet that has been put into the small middle room to make it dryer and more cozy. the carpet also functioned as an invitation to the audience to sit or lie down, which has been appreciated frequently.

the different acoustic characteristics of the three rooms have been reflected in the arrangement of the 24 loudspeakers, which were distributed equally over the three rooms (eight per room). in the dry and large room, the speakers were arranged in a line above the heads of the audience projecting the sound from one wall directly into the space and forming a frontal display-like situation. in the large and reverberant room, the speakers were positioned on the floor facing the walls. such they drove the room indirectly making use of the rich reflection pattern one could observe there. in the small middle room the speakers were also positioned on the floor and close to the wall but were facing the audience and thus creating a middle stage between the two large rooms. the idea of this arrangement was to emphasize the particular acoustic situation of the site, which has been chosen as a basis and generative structure of our work.

no special arrangements for lighting the rooms have been made, as the piece was shown during daylight hours and enough light entered through the large windows overlooking a large and noisy street and a pedestrian road (the three rooms were located on the first floor at the south-east corner of the "staatsbank" building).

the graphical user interface running on the handheld computers is operated with a ready made cotton swab (a q-tip®, "q-t", like the gui library which is used for the interface). this was suggested by a visitor at the opening after the first handheld stylus had broken down under the pressure of an over-excited visitor eager to control the installation. while the q-tip® isn t operating the interface, the unused (sic!) end may be used to clean the user's ears.

the graphical user interface is based on the floor plan of the three rooms and shows one's own sound texture as a filled and dragable circle and the texture of the other players as empty circles. the texture type is color coded and may be selected from a palette. the texture density is controlled with a slider and is also symbolized by the size of the circles. the loudspeakers installed in the rooms are also represented in the interface and are activated depending on the position and proximity of the sound texture circle. one's own active speakers are displayed as filled red boxes whereas the speakers of the other two visitors are displayed in gray.

general information

pictures of the installation

sound impressions



top of page top of page
 deutsche version locations (en) -- last modification:
30 Jun 2015 13:16:55
© 2002-2004 martin rumori