Shield experiment, Selfportrait,
Foto Maria Blondeel
Maria Blondeel essay

Sunlight for sound pillows, 2004–2006 Exhibition
Akademie der Künste am Pariser Platz + am Hanseatenweg Soundobject/installation
Blue sound pillows, CD-player, sound (42 minutes), silver rescue cloth.

Sunlight for sound pillows, 2004–2006, Foto © Maria Blondeel
This work consists of pillows with built-in loudspeakers, featuring sonic recordings of sunlight. The sound pillow allows the visitor to relax for a moment on a couch and take a nap while listening. I made the sunlight recordings for these sound pillows in ArToll in Bedburg-Hau on February 7 2004 at 12.30am. It was a rather stormy weekend with a full moon (0,25 lux) on the night of February 6. During the daytime it was bitterly cold with heavy clouds (5000 lux) alternating with bright sunlight (100.000 lux) and in many areas thunderstorm, hail and snow. I worked with twelve square wave generators each equipped with a light sensor. I positioned the sensors in three rows; one above the other, on the glass of an old window facing southeast. On the recordings you can hear the wind blowing against the glass. At nighttime the sunlight reflected upon the moon was clearly visible from this position. Outside were some wintry trees casting shivering shadows inside. The window had an original 19th century profile and was equipped with a double frame covered with an arch. The inside and outside woodwork was subdivided in 8 parts, each in turn subdivided in 56 window glasses.
On the glass rows beneath the sensors I apposed 4 piezo-electric loudspeakers causing the sound frequencies to resonate both in the wood and in the glass. I placed contact microphones on the inside part of the window frame to make the recording. I tuned the sound generators intuitively, to obtain a series of tones to soothe my tinnitus. I can best describe my tinnitus as multiple frequencies without simple mathematical ratios. Our ears have the fascinating capacity to perceive sound waves and vibrations and to transform them into information that our brain can understand. But I cannot find an acoustic equivalent for the inner sound they produce. I imagine I am hearing my own bioelectric activity in my hearing brain, 8 kHz/65 dB, 4 kHz/50 dB, 2 kHz/35 dB, 1 kHz/30 dB, 500 Hz/15 dB and 250 Hz/10 dB. Right and left have a different fundamental and seem to have two separate sources. But that is not where the sound is produced; it is where I hear it. I hear numerous frequencies and they can behave very differently. I can also hear them stereophonically, in which case I hear patterns with continuous minimal shifting, like moiré. I would compare the sound with an electronic sound wave, like a sine wave, but a very complex assemblage of sine waves. I have tried to reproduce it with my square-wave generators but very quickly came up against my hearing impairment. When I find a frequency that comes close to what I hear inside and try to fine-tune it, it will always either sound too low or disappear on the loudspeaker, out of my hearing range. [Maria Blondeel]
Maria Blondeel, born 1963 in Halle [B], lives and works in Ghent [B].
Adel Abdessemed/Silvia Ocougne
Dave Allen
Alfred Behrens
Maria Blondeel
Reinhard Blum/Uwe Bressnik
Jens Brand
Candice Breitz
Building Transmissions & Douglas Park
Janet Cardiff/George Bures Miller
Nicolas Collins
Alvin Curran
Joanna Dudley
Ulrich Eller
David First
Nina Fischer/Maroan el Sani & Robert Lippok
Terry Fox
Bernhard Gál
Seppo Gründler
Gut & Rist aka Gutarist
Carl Michael von Hauswolff & freq_out orchestra
Susan Hiller
Robert Jacobsen
Rolf Julius
Georg Klein/Steffi Weismann
Katjia Kölle
Christina Kubisch
Hans Peter Kuhn
Tilman Küntzel
Kalle Laar
Donatella Landi
Bernhard Leitner
Aernout Mik
Robin Minard
Ricardo Miranda Zuñiga
Helen Mirra
Michael Muschner
Carsten Nicolai
Andreas Oldörp
Finnbogi Pétursson
Werner Reiterer
Robin Rimbaud aka scanner
Julian Rosefeldt
Klara Schilliger/Valerian Maly
society of algorithm [Guy van Belle/Akihiro Kubota]
Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag
tamtam [Sam Auinger/Hannes Strobl]
Ana Torfs
Edwin van der Heide
Maurice van Tellingen
Stephen Vitiello
Kris Vleeschouwer
Heinz Weber
Achim Wollscheid
Miki Yui
Artur Zmijewski

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