This Weeks Reviews on

This Weeks News on

Monday, June 16, 2008

Byrne-ing Down the House by Playing the Building

This Saturday we stopped by Playing the Building: An Installation by David Byrne. Playing the Building is a sound installation in which the infrastructure—the physical plant of the building—is converted into a giant musical instrument. This installation was originally commissioned in Stolkholm in 2005 but this summer it resides in The Battery Maritime Building in New York, which is located between the Staten Island & Governor’s Island ferry landings.

Devices are attached to the building structure—to the metal beams and pillars, the heating pipes, the water pipes—and are used to make these things produce sound from the organ pictured above. The activations are of three key types: wind, vibration and striking. The devices do not produce sound themselves, but they cause the building elements to vibrate, resonate and oscillate so that the building itself becomes a very large musical instrument.

To get a better feel for the installation, take a gander at the video below and be sure to make your way down this summer on the way to a picnic on Governor’s Island, a show at Battery Park, or picking up some summer clothes at Century 21.

Playing the Building is open 31 May – 10 August 2008 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday: from Noon – 6PM) and is located at 10 South Street, New York, NY

No comments: