Spatial Sounds

Spatial Sounds (100dB at 100km/h), by Marnix de Nijs and Edwin van der Heide got me totally and unexpectedly hypnotized. A speaker is mounted onto a several meters long rotating arm. Like a watchdog, the machine scans the surrounding space for visitors.


When we arrived the machine was relatively quiet. So we got nearer and it behaved strangely, choosing one of us and following her/him. Suddenly, the sound of the motor started to rev up and the arm turned faster and faster. Even if we knew it´s fixed, it´s was a bit frightening, so we stepped back. When no one comes near, the engine is quite and moves slowly. The more people approaches, the more the machine is likely to get excited.

The gallery where it was installed in an old church. At some point, a group of pious visitors entered and they looked at the installation with horror and disdain. Then with fear when it started to turn very fast and noisily.

The weirdest of all is that although the machine doesn´t look like a cute robot, the interaction was so moving that i left the room feeling sad to think that i´ll leave the machine on its own, that it´ll grow silent and move slowly.