Though it was announced in September that structural renovations estimated to cost over $100 million were approved to shore up San Francisco’s Millennium Tower, the 58-story building continues to sink and lean without a clear construction schedule in place. The Handel Architects-designed tower has been mired in controversy ever since it was completed ten years ago, and its infamy has only increased since its engineering oversights were made public. Indigenous arts collective Postcommodity has developed a response to the growing notoriety of Millenium tower through a sound installation at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI). Titled The Point of Final Collapse, the installation translates the gradual movement of the tower into ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) audio by using computational algorithms, which will “transform the sonification of the sinking and tilting of the Millennium Tower into therapeutic sounds designed to encourage relaxation by extending the power of the city’s scenic beauty,” according to the artists. Long Range Acoustic Devices will be installed in SFAI’s historic Chestnut Street Campus tower to “broadcast” the ASMR audio in a four-minute duration each day at 5:00 p.m., aimed in the direction of Millennium Tower and Downtown San Francisco in general Postcommodity created The Point of Final Collapse to “engage the perspectives of a broad public by providing a call to prayer for relief from the economic stresses and dangers of a city in the throes of radical social, cultural, architectural, and economic transformation.” The artists, in other words, see the failure of Millennium Tower as a metaphor for the instability of San Francisco’s current economic and social symptoms, and hope that their piece will help offer a literal wakeup call. The Point of Final Collapse is the final product of Postcommodity’s residency at SFAI, following the group’s win of the 2019 award from The Harker Fund of The San Francisco Foundation. The installation will open to the public on November 15.
Posts tagged with "Soundscapes":
The Templehof Airport in South Berlin has a history of giving. In 1948, Operation Vittles, also known as the "Berlin Airlift," saw American aircraft carry 80 tons of food into Tempelhof. Shortly after, the famed Operation Little Vittles saw renowned "Candy Bomber" Gail Halvorsen drop candy via parachute to children living nearby. Many pilots soon followed in his footsteps. The airport is now no longer in service, though more recently, it was used as one of Europe's largest refugee camps. This inspired local architecture firm Plastique Fantastique to install an over-sized inflatable dinghy, reminiscent of those many refugees had been using to get to the continent, at the airport. Called LIVEBOAT, the firm, who are well known for their inflatable installations, said that dingy offers space for dialogue surrounding the refugee crisis. The boat serves as a visual pun of being a dinghy at an airport is big enough for people to walk inside. Visitors can walk through the boat and on their way discover multi-lingual sound bites of Homer's Odyssey as well as "fragments of refugee experiences." https://vimeo.com/133220577 Started in 1999, Plastique Fantastique comprises two architects, a set designer, a sound artist, a sculptor, and an intern. As their name suggests, plastic is the material of choice, selected due to its low cost and only needing a fan to form a space. "The fact that we used plastic, was just usually the fact that we had no money," said co-founder Marco Canevacci. Initially, in their first works, they sought to create warm places to stay through the use of a hot-air blower. Since their founding though, their work has, in many ways, continued to expand. Drawing on the pneumatic and inflatable volumes found in Ant Farm's Inflatocookbook, they rely on their diverse knowledge base of sound artistry, set design, and sculpture to integrate contemporary mediums into their work. https://vimeo.com/164302567 One project, SOUND of LIGHT is a notable example of this. The synesthetic sculpture analyses and interprets sunlight, "dynamically" transforming it into audio frequencies. Situated in the former music pavilion in Hamm, Germany, a high-end digital camera placed on top of the structure films the sky above, dividing it into red, green, blue and cyan, magenta, yellow. Commonly known as "RGB" and "CMY" this selection is derived from how colors are formed on-screen and in print (with black the only color missing). Subsequently, the two groups of three colors "receive different frequencies and convert them from visible to audible sensory input." To produce the sound, woofers placed at the bottom of each color column turn the space into a "giant vibrating loudspeaker." "Visitors can also discover their own concert by changing their point of view—an individual spectrum," the firm says on their website. https://vimeo.com/110137909 Sound is once again a key component of one of the latest works, BREATHING VOLUME. Breathing walls constantly swell and retract, giving the impression of being inside a living, breathing organism. Subwoofers at the back "transform the pulsing bass frequencies into the soul of the organism," while four synchronized ventilators work alongside to induce the movement of the walls and sense of breathing. https://vimeo.com/142884817 Another project, installed in 2011 in Neukölln, not far from Templhof, aims to "embrace the Passage’s "waistline" and façade". Called RINGdeLUXE, the inflatable golden ring wraps an archway as part of the "48 hours Neukölln" art festival. https://vimeo.com/25395420 RETTUNGSRING (lifesaver) is a ring that, instead of clinging to a building, floats on the river river Spree in Berlin's Treptow district. "Once inside of the structure, the visitor enjoyed the full experience of walking, sitting and relaxing on the water." https://vimeo.com/14102419 Those interested can further explore their diverse body of work here.
First proposed in 2011, Brooklyn's Silent Light installation has finally become a reality. Located at the intersection of Park Avenue and Navy Street under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) in Red Hook, the series of gates frames a pedestrian walkway that passes through an area of heavy vehicular traffic. The structures are covered in LED lights activated by surrounding noise from cars to create fleeting light shows of various colors and patterns. The project was conceived and executed by Valeria Blanco, Shagun Singh, and Michelle Brick who together form the Artists Build Collaborative. The trio collaborated with the Department of Transportation's Urban Art Program, the Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Red Hook Initiative to fund, construct, and install Silent Lights. The arches are intended to provide nocturnal aid to pedestrians navigating a potentially hazardous stretch of sidewalk. More broadly, the Collaborative hopes that by dramatically visualizing the issue, the installation will call attention to problems of noise pollution that plague the neighborhood by virtue of the BQE.
Coca-Cola has big plans for an Olympic Park pavilion for London's 2012 sporting extravaganza. London-based architects Pernilla & Asif have created the "Coca-Cola Beatbox," a spiraling structure clad in red and white panels that appear to be suspended in frozen animation. It's not only an intriguing structure but an interactive musical instrument. The experimental architecture works with cutting edge sound technology, encouraging people to interact and "play the pavilion." Inspired by sounds of the Olympic games—the plunge of an archer's arrow into a target, athlete's quickened heartbeats, squeaking sneakers—the Beatbox will be imbedded with sound-bites created by Grammy Award-winning producer Mark Ronson that allow visitors to remix their own mashed-up productions. Parnilla & Asif have designed a floating, divergent panel system that encapsulates a spiral ramp, leading visitors to the roof for a panoramic view of the Olympic Park. Sound and light reflect off of the panels, creating a sensory and aural experience that may be difficult to discern from renderings, but Coca-Cola is sure that its impact will be felt: “With the eyes of over four billion people on London next year, we want to use our long-standing association with the Olympic Movement to shine a spotlight on Britain’s brightest stars and inspire young people to pursue their passions."