To capture and perform with the acoustic soul of a magnificent brutalist space in Berkeley, CA, before it is changed forever
The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is relocating to a new building, and the fate of their current home, Woo Hon Fai Hall (Mario Ciampi, 1970) is uncertain. If the building is repurposed, the open gallery space will be reinforced and divided up. Whatever the building's fate, the beloved acoustic of this brutalist gem will soon change forever.
On January 28, 2015, when the last exhibition is gone and the galleries are empty, we will measure, study, listen to, and document the acoustic nature of the space. We will then commission sound artists to engage creatively with the palette of data and perform for the public in acousmatic style at The Lab in San Francisco. For the performance, a state-of-the-art Meyer Sound Constellation audio system will be installed at The Lab, and a live recording will be released in digital and vinyl LP formats. Listeners will experience the acoustic soul of the Ciampi building, disembodied from the physical space and modified through the lens of the artists.
Traditional (dodecahedral loudspeaker) and cutting edge (laser scan) measurement techniques will be used to better understand how sound energy develops within the space. Impulse responses, point clouds, and simulations will be generated for artistic, scientific, and archival use.
Awareness of the sonic importance of brutalist architecture will be raised at a time where buildings of this style are being demolished at an alarming pace. The Ciampi building's cascading planes of concrete, cavernous interior, and spare finishes amount to a unique acoustic praised by performers and audiences for decades, and this is a rare window of opportunity understand and preserve, in-part, how its acoustics influenced the performances that took place inside it.
This Kickstarter is the sole source of funding for this project. BAM/PFA are providing access to the space but only if we can fund the project ourselves. The funding goal is the minimum required for the success of this important project.
This concept was devised during an overlap of residencies at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer in Troy, NY. Playback system, measurement equipment, and measurement support generously provided by Meyer Sound.
Andre, Buren, Irwin, Nordman : space as support : exhibition and catalogue, University Art Museum, 1980.
For more information and examples of performances please visit website
> via kickstarter.com
© Michiel de Cleene, Raymond Rutting
Secret Operation 610
When aircraft Shelter 610 opens its ruthless doors, a monstrous black behemoth slowly comes driving out. The object revives the mysterious atmosphere of the Cold War and its accompanying terrifying weaponry. At an almost excruciatingly slow pace, the artwork uses its caterpillar tracks to cross the seemingly infinite runway. Due to this brutal object's constantly changing position in the serene landscape, it allows the visitor to experience the area and the history of the military airbase in new ways.
Text and images: Sara Anne Best
At 43, Sou Fujimoto is the youngest architect to author a Serpentine Pavilion. Will his talk in Sydney inspire encouragement and support to the emerging generation of architects?
A gargantuan pebble lies dormant in Kensington Gardens, on the doorstep of the Serpentine Gallery. Chilean architect, Smiljan Radic’s paper-mache carapace is the antithesis of last year’s translucent terrain by Sou Fujimoto. It is a contradiction that highlights the pavilion commission as an ‘unparalleled site for architectural experimentation’.
Often a luxury, the privilege is awarded to an architect yet to build in the UK, enabling local audiences to ‘engage with their work first hand’. It is a prestigious honour and at once an affirmation and catalyst toward architectural fame. Yet in a profession that draws heavily on the work of others to teach and inspire, there is a commensurate level of responsibility.