Buildings are not just visual or tactile figures. They are also distinguished by acoustic figures. This kind of figure has a strong impact on ourselves and on our perception, yet it cannot be defined easily. It is always circling at the edge of our thoughts as an acoustic horizon.
'Responses' translates this acoustic horizon into an image. A parabolic microphone registers the reflections from walls or objects of a signal that is played on a loudspeaker. The time that sound needs to return to the microphone can be calculated as a distance. This is how an acoustic image of the space can be generated.
This acoustic image is not stable like a visual image is. Depending on the frequencies that were sent from the speaker and also on the number and the position of people in that space, the measurements and the resulting image will be subject to change.
The permanence of visual representation is challenged by such an acoustic measurement. The acoustic figure of the space is relational: gauging the space with sound sets space itself in motion. To measure becomes a performative act, as it is variable while it is determining what is measured.
Next to real-time images of the room 'Responses' also shows prints of sound recordings of the rooms that visitor has just passed through.
Loudspeaker, parabolic microphone, video and digital prints
Text: Pieter T'Jonck