The audio-visual installation UNVEILED PRESENCE NYC is based on sound recordings collected in 2006/2007 in New York City. The basic idea behind the installation was to realize a site-specific work.
The rooftop water tanks are a distinctive feature of the New York skyline with an unusual characteristic sound inside. With the use of different recording techniques, such as solid-state and hydrophonics, sound recordings were simultaneously made in four selected water tanks around the Manhattan Bridge (Brooklyn). The physical differences of each sounding body consisting of water, wood and metal generated four unique multi-layered and individual soundscapes. The rooftop water tanks act as omnidirectional receptacles for sound events from the inside of the building and the surrounding area. The resulting installation reproduces the acoustic situation at the recording locations in the form of four sound objects, which also visually reference the water tanks and Marcel Duchamp’s readymade.
The objects are made of mirror sheets attached horizontally to threaded rods at a height of approx. 80 cm. The flexible mirror sheets are distorted, forming an asymmetrical, bowl-like hollow in the center. A vibration exciter plate is mounted centrally to the underside of the mirror sheet and transmits elements of the sound composition to the sheet’s surface in the form of vibrations. In the depression on the top of the mirrored sheet is a water film, the surface of which shows resonating wave patterns. Spotlights directed onto the surface of the water bounce reflections onto a wall in the slightly darkened space where they interfere and collide with each other.
Four light boxes (100x140cm) with sound visualizations (100 x 140 cm) were developed parallel to the sound objects. Consisting of photographic textures from the recording locations and cut-ups of waveform representations of the site-specific sound recordings, vector graphics fuse into an almost monochrome network of fine noise notations.