Pole (Glocal Affairs, Maastricht, 2008, Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen 2010)

hi-res here. hires of Pole at Charlottenborg here

video here

spatial sketch here

sound here

Pole is an intervention in an existing space and alters the functionality of it. The appearance is based upon the phenomena of an acoustic lens or -disk.
In it’s focus, in front of the hollow shape, a four-channel loudspeaker- and microphone system is located. A computer controls and regulates a process of audio-feedback.

At the exhibition venue, a hollow, 20 square meters, disk-shaped structure almost covered one of the walls in a former office space (the “Timmerfabriek” from 1905). Wood, Styrofoam and plaster and paint in exactly the same shade as the original paint on the walls, raised and integrated the alien structure in that room. The focal point of this disk was positioned just in front of the opposite wall, whereat a set-up with a computer, four active speakers and four microphones on a tripod was put.

Sonic feedback was established by a connection in between one microphone and one loudspeaker at the time. These items were both directed to each other via the reflection of the disk. The exact distance in between speaker and microphone induced a particular range of tonal sounds.
A custom made application on the computer, an assignable sequencer, controlled which one of the four microphones would connect with which one of the four loudspeakers. And because of a variety of distances in between those, a shift in tonal ranges became audible. To this, another application was suppressing clear- (louder) tones, when these would take over the summed total. (This is an actual ‘feedback-destroyer’ with the use of frequency-trackers and notch-filters).

A big inspiration was, with others, the military pre-radar “listening observatories” along the British coastline. Those enormous concrete parabolic shapes were meant to hear (hostile) boats and planes approaching over a vast distance. As technology developed, the parabolic shape made electro-magnetic forms of communication possible: to space, or from country to country. Now, as it became an icon for mass media, an urge is expressed to look and listen what’s happening elsewhere. The operational area of Pole is limited to the given space only; the producer as well as the consumer share the focus. Consequently, sound became inevitable part of the architecture.