outside > in

Urban Transformation for DesCours 2011 - New Orleans, mit Florian Tuercke
AIA New Orleans, Center for Design
New Orleans

Reactivating Disused Space by Transforming Public Space

The project outside > in was part of the festival “DesCours” in New Orleans. Abandoned and disusedbuildings in the centre of New Orleans should be reactivated by art and design concepts. Our building was the former “Lighthouse for the Blind” with its symbolic lighthouse tower. The concept outside > in dealed as well with the musical tradition of New Orleans as with the general ideaof DesCours. The sound of public space should make its way to the abandoned interior of the lighthouse assonic, filtered transformation, while the image of the surrounding world should fill the space in a scrambled and hereby abstracted way. The installation outside > in was interactive, it constantly changed, depending on the situation and actions that happened outside in the street.outside > in was participative. The installation invited visitors to play with parts of itself (mixer). The basic idea was to compress public space to its own live-abstraction and to release the visitors with a new idea about the world they live in.

Two installations, based on different sound-transformation technics, were realized. Both of themtransformed ambient sounds to musical tunes. Moreover they interacted with each other like a little combo of instruments.
“the panacoustical tubes”
A set of 33 tubes was installed at the tower of the lighthouse. The tubes worked as analog filters to the ambient sounds. The specific resonance of each tube amplified certain frequencies. The tubes were tuned in a pentatonic scale (F, G#, Bb, C, D#). Microphones inside the tubes recorded the filtered sounds. Visitors were welcome to play around with amixer and combine the sounds from the tubes to chords and melodies. The sound were audible onloudspeakers inside the building.
“the eternal guitar”
An electric guitar were played by the ambient sounds. A condenser-microphone outside the lighthouserecorded all ambient-sounds and passed them on to an electromechanical transducer which wasconnected to the strings of an electric guitar. The guitar-strings resonated depending on the incomingsounds. The tuning of the guitar related to chords of the Blues. In combination the two instruments created an ongoing live soundscape that could be as well influenced as live played by the visitors. The outside world with its specific noises was transformed, reflected and replayed inside in an harmonical contemplative way

To intensify the experience of mirroring and transforming the outside world to a little abstract universeinside the lighthouse, a video-installation, that literally mirrored the visuals from the outside was added. A camera sent its image to a video-projector inside the lighthouse. The image was projected onto a structure of mirrors that distorted, scrambled and rearranged the visuals from outside. The space was filled with particles of impressions happening simultaneously outside.Inside and outside space were brought together in an audiovisual assemblage and combined to a temporary new space condition. A public intervention that merged two realities to a subtle correlation.