Spatial Sound Installation (2018)

Overlay is a site-specific sound installation for the panoramic window front of the Humboldt-Box Berlin, a temporary building located between the newly constructed Humboldt Forum and the Lustgarten in downtown Berlin.

Overlay plays with the visual and acoustic perception of visitors and directly relates to the view they have when looking out of the large window. The installation takes advantage of the fact that the window panes normally isolate all incoming sounds. Using special loudspeakers that transmit sound to the window panes and thus use them as resonant surfaces for sound reproduction, a soundscape composition becomes audible that covers the panoramic view like a veil. The artificial soundscape is composed of recordings (field recordings) taken at different times of day around the Lustgarten and in the field of view of the window. The playback across the full width of the window front gives visitors the impression that the window is permeable. On the other hand, it becomes clear that, as in the reception of a film, the human brain is capable of combining visible and audible sources that do not necessarily belong together. Overlay adds a believable sound space to the view, but through the asynchrony of the visible and audible events, it affects the perception of time and space, ultimately directing consciousness to the listening process itself.

Overlay was developed for the exhibition "[sound] Listening to the world". The exhibition was sponsored by the Foundation Humboldt Forum Foundation in cooperation with the Ethnological Museum of the National Museums in Berlin, the Humboldt University in Berlin, the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin and Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH, as well as with the AMAR Foundation in Beirut, and the support of the Arab Fund For Arts and Culture AFAC.