ARENA : a mobile interactive sound sculpture project for public spaces
Location: Kitchener, Canada
ARENA project for the CAFKA festival in Kitchener, Canada.
This project won first prize at the Hacking Urban Furniture contest in 2017 (Institut for Art and Urbanistics/ Berlin).
As an interactive sculpture created as a stage/arena for people to sit on / in / around is made out of 320 recycled loudspeakers and e-waste.
More importantly in this new project is that the sculpture is mobile and can be transported to other festivals and events.
Because of the difficulties of acquiring e-waste in Japan, I had decided to build the Shrine (Torii Gate structure) for the Kobe Biennale in 2015 at our farmhouse studios in Baitz outside of Berlin. Jago Whitehead, Gerrit de Vries and Marko Gutmann all came to Baitz where over a week‘s period we built the core structure of the the Gate and mounted most of the speakers onto sections. These were then unmounted and placed on 3 Europalettes and shipped to Kobe.
As we rebuilt it on site at the Biennale we noted that a future project might be to build a movable stucture that would be conceived for mobility and transport. Also that it would be made available — not just for the public to express themselves — but also for small festivals and individual artistic/musical presentations in public areas. I contracted Jan Fuhrman to make the designs and proceeded to look for financial partners to create ARENA: a mobile interactive sound sculpture. The concept won first prize at the Hacking Urban Furniture contest at the Institute for Art and Urbanistics in Berlin in 2017 and was selected for realization at the Cafka (Contemporary Arts Forum Kitchener and Area) Biennale in Kitchener, Ontario Canada in 2018.
The structure was built under the supervision of a local artist –Rex Lingwood–, the wiring of 320 loudspeakers and the electronics was put in the hands of Jago Whitehead and Johnny Camara. It was constructed as 4 sections that could be transported via a forklift and flatbed truck.
The sulpture was placed in front of the town hall of Kitchener for the month of June 2018. A series of concerts with local musicians and artists was organized. During the day the public could participate in 3 ways:
- by calling either one of two telephone numbers (limited for 3 minutes):
- by logging one of 3 Bluetooth addresses and playing music and messages:(N.B. Please regulate sound volume on your smartphone so as to not distort sound)
- or simply by using an available microphone.
Cafka also pledged to store and manage the further „marketing“ of the artwork for further years.
Project manager: Rex Lingwood.
Electronics: Jago Whitehead and Johnny (“Electro-Johnny”) Camara.
ARENA won first prize at the Hacking Urban Furniture contest in 2017 (Institute for Art and Urbanistics/ Berlin, Germany).
As a public interactive sculpture created for people to sit on / in / around. Made out of 320 recycled loudspeakers and e-waste.
All the speakers are soldered/connected together to 2 amplifiers and a mixing board. The entire sculpture creates a unique sound system.
More importantly the sculpture is mobile and can be transported to other festivals and events.
Dimensions 26 x 12 feet x 8,20 feet (9,20)