Kunstraum AVUS | Nordkurve, 2009

AVUS Nordkurve (north bend)

Sound installation in/at the AVUS north bend

The sound environment of the AVUS grounds is dominated by cars passing by on the Autobahn 115. Besides there are innumerable other sounds that certainly contribute to the sound environment but can hardly be heard against the noise of engines: e.g. paper moved by the wind, a metal chain bumping against a barrier, a driver closing the door of his truck etc.
On the AVUS grounds I experiment with inconspicuous tracks of sound that I record with piezo ceramic microphones and which an amplifier transmits directly to 4 megaphones. The single sounds can be heard as a real-time composition at mobile sound installations along the AVUS.

Sound installation stations:
On the edge of the north bend (grass border, barrier), at the truck parking site, at the motel etc. Piezo ceramic microphones record the noises hardly to be heard and then transmit them in real time to 4 megaphones. Thus a new sound space is created that tries to compete with the engine noise of the cars passing by on the Autobahn.

"Democratizing" the AVUS sound space:
The scene calls up the association of a "chorus" disturbing the usual sound environment of the AVUS and trying to give equal importance to the softer sounds.
visual = noise and silence: the extreme density and activity on the Autobahn 115 as opposed to the emptiness and standstill of the north bend.

Sound installation in the Kunstkammer
In the "Kunstkammer" of the Georg Kolbe Museum a composition of sounds from the AVUS environment – that were already the protagonists of a performance in the north bend in September 2009 - are to be heard in a sound installation.  A video sketch played on an iPod visualizes the AVUS sound environment.
Moreover a car tape recorder – which is also connected with one of the 4 megaphones – plays softly music from old cassettes. (The cassettes were found at the AVUS car park; they had been disposed of by a truck driver who had meanwhile bought a modern radio with CD player. Music: Truck Stop, the Hit parade of German folk music, ZZ Top, Shanties “Rolling home…” etc. The truck driver bought nearly all the songs again at a petrol station, this time, of course, on CD). Every 30 minutes the radio data system cuts off the music for the traffic report broadcasted at a higher volume.

documentation - camera & editing: Marie Klein, 2009