Sliding

Sound installation for the gateway of the Styrian station of the Austrian broadcasting corporation ORF.

The construction of the Styrian ORF studio, designed by Gustav Peichl, emanates a pecular atmosphere. It is a busy place, and the parking area is filled already in the early morning. The “functional” metallic building possess a nautical quality, with its tubes and rounded windows reminiscent of ships or trains, and the centric form with the gallery and the dome—all of rather compact extent—adding a nuance of space ship. If one wishes to enter the building, one has to pass a gateway with a concierge, isolated by two automatic sliding doors. Two circular milky top windows provide a view to the sky. In this transitory place I have inserted my sound intervention.

The installation “Sliding” questions the thin and permeable membrane that separates foreground and background, witholding an artisanal sound design. The exterior sound of the ORF centre, located on an empty green plain and giving already the impression of the cessation of Graz’s urbanity, is constrasted with the bustle of the building’s interior, it’s “business as usual”, where radio makers are exactly “making radio” just as a baker bakes bread. Muffled pop-music sounds in the background, beeping and ringing mobile telephones and vacuum cleaners mix with the omnipresent patter of feet that constantly walk up and down the building, reflecting the “greenish-metallic” appearance of the interior design. A mechanical wall clock adds its importunate time signal.

Sliding (inside excerpt)
 

Sliding (outside excerpt)
 

The “gate” becomes an acoustical sluice where the these two so-called realities, inside and outside, thinly overlay each other. A steady rhythm enforces the sounds to abruptly end just before they become too placid, and the listener is thrown back into his or her initial situation.