Media installation as starting point of the urban development project “Art and Culture Mile Dortmund”
The Area Composing tells the city history of Dortmund using selected exhibits from the Museum of Art and Cultural History. AXIS 1.o was projected onto the steel sculpture “Chip” in front of the museum.
With the installation, the museum opened up to the urban space and connected with the adjacent stations of the imaginary cultural axis. During the eight performance nights, people reacted spontaneously and in many different ways to the installation.
- Idea and artistic conception
- Performance conception
- Image and sound recording
- Technical planning and implementation
- Creative Controlling
- Complete project management
- Cost planning and control
- Press and public relations
- Cooperation with local actors
- Coordination of all project participants
On the initiative of the City of Dortmund, we develop an artistic concept for making the imaginary art and culture mile visible in the urban space – an axis that extends from the Dortmunder U across the city center to the Bauarchiv am Ostwall. Media installations in front of the respective stations are to refer to the respective cultural site and include the adjacent places. The interplay of all stations will create a scalable work of art that can grow with the cultural development of the city.
In cooperation with Christian Weyers, the head of the creative quarter’s staff unit, and museum director Jens Stöcker, we define the Museum of Art and Cultural History (MKK) as the starting point. Here, where the entire city history of Dortmund is concentrated, the idea of the cultural axis will be presented to the public for the first time.
AXIS 1.0 is a composition of image and sound recordings of Dortmund city life along the cultural axis and of MKK exhibits. The macrocosm of today’s city combines with the microcosm of past life, which is revealed in the exhibits. Photography succeeds in penetrating into the depths of the exhibits, depicting their materiality and the traces of their production process, but also the traces of their decay.
In addition to the geographical axis, this creates a temporal axis from early times to the present, which follows the chronological concept of the museum. The sound narrative of the Area Composing comments on the development of cultural history through the evolution of human sound expression. Parallel to the development of music history, sounds, sound documents, and street recordings sketch Dortmund’s history and urban development from early history through the era of trade and industrialization to the multicultural Ruhr metropolis.
The square in front of the MKK is a place of passage that offers passers-by little reason to linger. The performance of the Area Composing at this location is intended to take the museum out into the public and make it a point of attraction not only for museum visitors.
In the middle of the square stands the sculpture CHIP by the Düsseldorf artist Stefan Sous, like a huge black hand axe, archaic and futuristic at the same time – thematically and formally the perfect situation for a time travel through the epochs of the city’s history. We decide to turn it into a projection surface and sound body for our Area Composing.
The performance is intended to create the impression that the images and sounds arise from the sculpture itself, that it shines, sounds, changes and moves from its own source – as if there were no technique at all. To achieve this, we place the entire projection and control technology inside the museum and the speakers under the sculpture for an invisible 360-degree sound system. By contact transmission of the sound waves the speakers make the CHIP vibrate, which can be felt by people who touch or climb the sculpture. The entire media installation is programmed so that it starts and ends automatically at the planned time and can be controlled by remote control.
AXIS 1.0 is performed on eight evenings in June 2019 at Amiens Square. During the 90-minute performance, two versions of the composition are shown, one of which is a high-contrast version with luminous contours. While the first version covers the CHIP as a whole, the contour lines of the second version leave more room for the form and materiality of the sculpture.
With the projection of sounds and images out of the MKK onto the CHIP, the museum enters into the public sphere and into contact with numerous people of all ages and social classes, whose interest in art and the museum is awakened in a completely new way. They turn AXIS 1.0 into a social sound-image sculpture, touch it, climb on it, feel the sound vibrations, move in the images and post selfies of their performances in the social networks.
AXIS 1.0 changes not only the perception of art and culture, but also the place in front of the museum. The media installation transforms the passageway into a place of contemplation and communication, thus creating a new urban space. At the same time, the installation marks the first station of Dortmund’s planned art and culture mile, making it visible and tangible for the first time.
Dr. Jens Stöcker and his team from the Museum of Art and Cultural History, Dortmund (Joana Maibach, Carolin Langenbahn, Edyta Gronert, Elke Torspecken, Dominik Kilian, Julian Oswald, Peter Adler)
Christian Weyers, City of Dortmund / Staff Office Creative Quarters
Dr. Rosemarie Pahlke, City of Dortmund / Art in urban space
Ingo von Stillfried, Förderkreis Vermessungstechnisches Museum, Dortmund
Katrin Pinetzki, Press Spokeswoman City of Dortmund
Hendrik Wendler / Emanuele Musca / Behrooz Moosavi, device + context, Weimar / Berlin
Peter Kanngießer, sound technology, Wuppertal
Annette Liese, photography, Dortmund
Höhnerbach Veranstaltungstechnik, Duisburg
Christian Caspari, painter, Hagen
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