Maximilian Marcoll | Hannes Galette Seidl





















The piece “Karl Ortmann” pays homage to the German cartographer from Ilmenau (*1817 - †1879). His life’s work consisted of finding a way to illustrate the social structures of cities within the context of maps. According to his theories, maps should reflect various aspects of the cohabitation of the city’s residents. Karl Ortmann described his research as follows: "Not only the matter of buildings and streets, entirely negating the social aspects, but the combination of living space and status of income, the combination of population density and the status in society of the dwellers should be explored.” (From: Ortmann, Karl: Eine Einführung in die Sozialkartographie, Dresden 1864, S. 294.) Karl Ortmann remained unknown during his lifetime and it is only by chance that we know of his concepts, which were never realised. Our piece is exclusively made of sounds of the city of Karlsruhe (southern Germany), recorded during one week in September 2005. A central structural element for us was a set of recordings we made during the night before (and the morning of) the German polling day in 2005. For approximately twelve hours, we recorded three minutes of audio every thirty minutes, using two microphones set up on a balcony in a residential area. These recordings were cut together, leaving their chronological order (and the sound quality) unchanged. This artificial soundscape plays throughout the piece with one short interruption. Sometimes inaudible, sometimes present as a main element, it structures the piece. Other recordings we used were made during the daytime in different parts of the city (e.g. noise of streetcars, people playing basketball, sounds in a park etc).

“Ian W. Coel” is built around the video installation “STM Wall” (Short Time Memory Wall) by fictitious british media artist Ian W. Coel (*1952). “STM Wall” is a video wall, equiped with cameras and set up in a public space, which takes pictures of its surroundings in front and behind the wall and displays these pictures on its video screens. New bright pictures are drawn on top of older ones, which are still visible but fade away. In addition, the wall's surface reflects the observer, who can watch himself and his surroundings in motion at the same time. The version on the CD was made using the recordings we made for the first performance of "Ian W. Coel" in a ground level office of the Dresdner Bank in Frankfurt a.M.. During the daytime, this room is a working space for the Jürgen Ponto foundation, although later, it is often used for exhibitions and concerts. Our pre-recorded material was taken during a working day, so during the performance, you could hear people typing and talking while seeing their emtpy chairs and desks. Other recordings were made on the street in front of the building. They were mixed with live amplification of the street noise, the source of which you could observe through the room's glass window.