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Now broadcasting:

Hörens - A sound installation on individual and collective identity.

Scenario:

'Hörens' (Colognian for 'listen up') is a collaborative auditive art installation by students, following the concept of media psychologist dr Ulrike Meier and the guidance of the video artist professor Katja butt.

In this project, each of the eight collaborators created two sound files, one containing snippets of sound that best describe their outward persona, and one containing sounds that describe their ego, their internal thoughts, and emotions.

The sound files containing the outward personas are then played on a loop through a system of speakers, getting continuously mixed in differentiating volume through a soundboard, creating an always changing, never the same world of people broadcasting their life and identity through sound alone. The other sound files are available through headphones, giving each ego privacy and the listener a more intimate listening experience. 

 

When listening to one sound file on its own, both offer their own insight into their creator's life, although the truly interesting part begins when listening to both files together, creating an intertwined, sometimes contradicting, sometimes complementary view on their creator. 

A visitor listening to one of the internal sound-files
A visitor listening to one of the internal sound-files

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A visitor trying to listen to one of the external sound-files in particular
A visitor trying to listen to one of the external sound-files in particular

Click the image to pause the slide-show and access an expanded overview.

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Visitors listening to the mixture of outwards and inwards sound-files
Visitors listening to the mixture of outwards and inwards sound-files

Click the image to pause the slide-show and access an expanded overview.

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A visitor listening to one of the internal sound-files
A visitor listening to one of the internal sound-files

Click the image to pause the slide-show and access an expanded overview.

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Sound as the chosen medium of conveyance has some major implications when it comes to designing one's own representation. In opposition to visual cues, pinpointing sound to a specific source can be a difficult task, especially when it is being mixed together with other sounds. This results in a unique experience, leaving the listener room for interpretation and guessing.

In addition to this, sound also offers the opportunity to explore spaces beyond a room defined by walls, as outdoor sounds can be heard within contained rooms and vice versa, thus creating an entirely different project than working through a visual medium.

For this project, I took part in the collaborative aspect of creating sound files as well as in expanding the concept provided by dr Ulrike Meier by coming up with the idea of including sound files to represent the ego of the creators, which should be played via headphones. Additionally, I created the official cover art representing the sound installation as a whole.

'hörens' was featured during the Cologne 'Nacht der Technik (German for 'night of technology') as well as on the local radio station 'köln campus'.