Meeting House Square
Continuous Drift is a public sound installation designed and conceived of by the artist Sven Anderson with contributions from 21 leading artists and collectives.
Participating artists: Bik Van der Pol, David Blamey, Karl Burke, Taylor Deupree, FM3, Russell Hart, Slavek Kwi, Brandon LaBelle, Mattin, Danny McCarthy, Dennis McNulty, Garrett Phelan, Sarah Pierce, Raqs Media Collective, Steve Roden, Dawn Scarfe, Jed Speare, Stalker/ON, Wolfgang Voigt, Mark Peter Wright, and Miki Yui.
Sited in Meeting House Square in the Temple Bar region of Dublin, Ireland, this long-term installation acts as a framework for different sonic atmospheres that can be activated by members of the public via mobile devices, to be played back from eight loudspeakers integrated in four retractable rain-screens that cover the square. Situating itself as part sound installation, part outdoor sound art gallery, and part architectural intervention, the project explores a new form of aural democracy set within the city.
Launch event: Thursday, July 2, 6–8pm
Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland
The launch will include a performance by Miki Yui and the first viewing of the installation in Meeting House Square.
Continuous Drift alludes to concepts of public urban environmental control as described by Constant Nieuwenhuys in his long-term project, New Babylon (1959–74):
“Each sector [of New Babylon] will be provided with the latest equipment, accessible to everyone, whose use, we should note, is never strictly functional. In New Babylon, air conditioning does not only serve to recreate, as in utilitarian society, an ‘ideal’ climate, but to vary ambiance to the greatest possible degree … In New Babylon, each person can at any moment, in any place, alter the ambiance by adjusting the sound volume, the brightness of the light, the olfactive ambiance or the temperature.” *
Continuous Drift poses an open question addressing what might emerge when this concept is implemented in a real public space, encouraging the city to contemplate this form of experiment within the complex sound environments that it already supports, both intentionally and otherwise.
This installation is a component of Manual for Acoustic Planning and Urban Sound Design (MAP), a public art project by Sven Anderson commissioned by Dublin City Council. This project takes place as part of Interacting with the City, the second strand of the Dublin City Public Art Programme, and is funded from the per cent for art scheme through the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.
*Nieuwenhuys, C.A. (1974) New Babylon. Haags Gemeetenmuseum exhibition catalogue, The Hague.
Manual for Acoustic Planning
Manual for Acoustic Planning and Urban Sound Design (MAP) is a public artwork based on working within the city council in the experimental (and invented) role of Dublin City Acoustic Planner & Urban Sound Designer, negotiating the projects’ agenda and workflow in response to how this concept is received internally within the council. This project emphasizes a dematerialized practice through which practical outputs (in the form of public sound installations) emerge as residual artifacts that are encountered as design prototypes executed within (or even by) the council itself. This approach opens new channels for the city to engender a sense of responsibility and possibility regarding this mode of working with sound in the urban context as an extension of existing planning and design processes.
Working from the minor perspective of sound within the city (or of urban sound designer within the city council), the MAP project functions as a productive dialectic set within an institutional framework, suggesting an optimistic mode of sustainable production that looks beyond the execution of finite urban interventions as well as beyond an internalized cycle of institutional critique.
Sven Anderson’s work explores the act of listening within diverse architectural, physical, social, and emotional contexts. His practice is a discursive platform that operates through artistic intervention, academic publication, participatory processes, and interactive design.