Playing the Building via Creative Time
From May 31- August 10, the artist and musician David Byrne will transform the landmark Battery Maritime Building in lower Manhattan into a massive ‘sound sculpture.’ The project is being executed with the help of Creative Time, the innovative arts organization known for its experimental public art. Visitors will be invited to ‘play’ the building, making music by controlling an organ that is attached to devices installed throughout the structure.
Past installation view via Creative Time
Byrne’s sketch for project via Fargfabriken
By attaching devices to pick up sound and vibrations from the building’s structure — the metal beams and pillars, the heating pipes, and water pipes — the edifice itself becomes an instrument that visitors can play. The devices cause the architectural elements to vibrate, resonate and oscillate.
Solenoid used to vibrate column via Creative Time
The project was originally commissioned in Stockholm in 2005, as way for Byrne to establish a site-specific artwork. David Byrne, a RISD art school graduate, known as the front man for the rock band Talking Heads, has long been interested in visual art and architecture as well as music. With this project, he combines his talents to create a whole new instrument. He said of the project that he wanted to do something that was more ‘hands on’ than normal exhibitions, where people are required to look but not touch.
Past installation in Berlin via Creative Time