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Archive for May, 2009

infracopter 0.9

Media Installation for the Exhibition “Noise”, Mainz Panzerwerk
This project was triggered by a press release found in the Financial Times Online. The bulletin reports that the Israeli military considered to deploy sound weapons against Palestinian citizens.

The installation realised in Panzerwerk Mainz creates an interior, in which a rectangular room is divided in two parts separated by a colored adhesive tape. The two opposing parties are represented by chairs and electronic equipment. On one side there is a military camp bed with two attached speakers. The speakers are pointed towards people sitting on the camp bed. Behind the  bed a black box, a large subwoofer is standing close to the wall. This part of the room is easily accessed through two doors.

infracopter-13In the opposite position there is a single seat supported within an aluminium construction equipped with all kind of devices, as viewfinders and a control stick, resembling the cockpit of a helicopter Behind the seat is a black box with equal dimensions as the subwoofer but without its function, containing a computer and accessories. Below the seat are two video cameras which are attached to the  viewfinders. Next to this there is a monitor and an amplifier installed with a loudspeaker aiming at the opposite site. On top of the construction one could find noise canceling headphones with a microphone.




The person taking a seat on the construction needed a little time to get adjusted to all that equipment. With the viewfinders he has a good survey on people sitting on the camp bed and entering and leaving the room. There also is a possibility for the person in the lead to play chopper sounds and subsonic noise trough all the speakers in the room at the same time. However he wore the noise cancelling headphones and could simply observe which sound level the other side suffered. All the equipment of the construction extends the person´s self through technology. It gives pure power to one individual person and leaves the other “ordinary” people helpless. They have nothing to defend themselves with in their sparse and unprotected environment, they are directly hit by subsonic noise and can only escape by the doors.

It becomes obvious that humans are easily corrupted by technical power and therefore constantly are trying to develop even more sophisticated means of suppression. The American and also the Israeli military own some devices for “sonic warfare”, which are designed specifically to expel unarmed civilians. The Israeli forces installed a weapon called “the scream” which was deployed against rebellious Palastinians and Jewish settlers alike.

The installation however wants to clarify that even the stronger part stays within the system and his weapons beat back on himself. In this specific case infrasonic frequencies are emitted which can´t be blocked by the headphones, they are perceived by mechanical vibration (“Körperschall”) and affect everybody especially the emitter. In a broader sense one could say, that the pressure you put into a system beats back on yourself – the “war on terror” would be an excellent example.