Architecture, Art February 17, 2010 By Nika Knight
bugsound cover BUG

bug title2 BUG

The new building at Brunnenstraße 9 in Berlin’s Mitte district was recently hailed by Artforum Magazine as “a retroactive manifesto of ’90s-era hypercontextualism” and, more simply, “gorgeous”. What their praise didn’t recognize, however, is that this mixed-use space is not just something to look at but a building to listen to; passers-by can plug their headphones into the inconspicuous silver jack embedded in the building’s concrete and literally hear the otherworldly orchestrations of the structure itself.
     For the permanent sound installation, titled BUG, American artist Mark Bain embedded seismological sensors at various points of the building. Using a force-feedback system, he then converts the micro-vibrations the sensors pick up into audible sound that can be heard by anyone, at any time of day or night — provided they bring their own headphones. External elements such as wind or rain, as well as the mechanical sounds of the elevator, heating system, and underground metro — in addition to footsteps and muffled voices — are all picked upand mixed into an impromptu, experimental composition. Upon hearing the sound, some listeners dance; others have claimed that it gives them goosebumps.

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