The installation is in a former water reservoir located in Prenzlauerberg. The reservoir is very large and the acoustic fingerprint is unique. The architectural properties are very simply laid out, it consists of five concentric passages in the form of rings. The space is very complex to grasp. This is mainly because of an utilitarian architecture, which is based on function (holding water in the early days) rather than anthropomorphic proportions. All these elements have an unusual impact on perception and is at first disorientating. Soundwise it has huge reverberation and echo. Sound travels in different and therefore unpredictable directions. Sounds become very diffused.
Our spatial awareness is dependant of only a fraction of a second of a sound reflected in our environment. This intuitive information is quite rudimentary when we navigate our environment and we are mostly unaccustomed to use it consciously and or adequately. Some animals, however, use it as their main navigation system. They 'see' with their ears. The skill has been first discovered in the mid-eighteenth century. The term echolocation was introduced much later in the mid-twentieth century.
The idea for this installation is based on the concept that sound can be used for investigating acoustic and architectural properties. Sound can be also be used as a cue for loctation. In general sound will be applied as a tool for perception. For this installation I developped a device that is a kind of sound space investigator; the Echolocator .
The Echolocator incorporates a sound device, a laser tool and a communicating tracking device. It can emit short sounds that are optimal for echolocation. These sounds are based on sounds that animals use for echolocation. There will be in total a dozen of those devices. Each device will sound slightly different and will interact with each other.
With the Echolocator you are able to explore the acoustic and architectural properties of a given space with sound. This tool triggers our sonic perception and helps in understanding how sound and space correlates.