Tocsin

sound sculpture

2009, Cologne / Germany

tocsin
tocsin
toc“sin (?), n. [f., fr. of. toquier to touch,
f. toquer (originally, a dialectic form of f. toucher) + seint (for sein)
a bell, ll. signum, fr. l. signum a sign, signal. see touch, and sign.]
an alarm bell, or the ringing of a bell for the purpose of alarm.
the loud tocsin tolled their last alarm. Amplified bell

 
 
Material: 40 megaphone, microphone, aluminum grilles, audio amplifier, sound mixer
Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 120 cm, 80 kg
 

40 megaphones of different sizes and capacities are fixed to an aluminum grid made in the shape of a bell. All audio inputs are grouped together and connected to one single microphone. The microphone is hanging in the center of the bell just below the megaphones. Only a temporary de-energized system prevents the inevitable audio feedback. As soon as the visitors disturb the microphone from its suspended state, the audio system automatically starts up and the deafening roar of a 40-megaphone chorus of amplified feedback collapses on the bell-ringer.
 
The alarm doesn’t proclaim any impending catastrophe, it only generates its own temporary catastrophe.

 
 
Metalwork: Heinz Nink, Bernd Voss
Sound, electrical installation: Martin Nawrath
Photos: Ilya Stahl, Andrey Ustinov
Production: Academy of Media Arts, Cologne / Germany
 
 

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