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Elevator Music

by Julian Rohrhuber 2002 (jrh)


An elevator is a tool that creates a characteristic situation for
its users. The distance between the persons is less than usual
and it is uncertain where and when a person will enter or leave
this space. This allows the elevator to provide defined circumstances
for artistic intervention.

In the main elevator of the Hochschule für bildende Kunst Hamburg
two sound installations took place for the year exhibitions 2000 and 2001:

"The King Has Just Left The Building"

The disused paternoster was restored by indirect lighting and some
cleaning of its beautiful woodworks.
Two loudspeakers were installed above and below the rectangular
hole that allowed the public to look into the chamber from just
slightly above floor level. Setting the general atmosphere, the faint
sound of elvis midi files is to be heared and as one knocks on the
wall one sends a trigger signal to a room where different sound sources
are sent back to the elevator. The current TV-program or synthetic
virtual vehicles, or the echo of the knocking drive past from top to bottom
in considerable speed.
The title of this installation was inspired by a remark by Frank Hesse
that the announcer would say "The King Has Just Left The Building" in
order to render the crowds quiet after Elvis Presley's concerts.

"Remote Elevator Music"

this year the paternoster was displaced by a sleek modern beautiful
steel elevator. Together with Tilo Kremer a small amplifier was installed
underneath the lighting system and connected an antenna with it
that allowed to send sound into the elevator in any position.
A software was used to generate algorithmic soft jazz music whose
parameters could be accessed over the internet, so that independant of
place one could influence the atmosphere in the elevator.
the announcement and some more details: Remote Elevator Music (currently offline)

                Uploaded Image: fahrstuhl5.jpg
Because our "hack" of the elevator caused some irritations
with the service personnel, the installation had to
be discontinued stopped shortly after it was started.


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