blind spaces

Blind Spaces is an installation piece situated in an abandoned Beijing hutong courtyard house. 8 of the 16 rooms in the courtyard were entirely whitened -including the items the former inhabitants left behind- in an attempt to neutralise the historic texture of the rooms and emphasize their composition and acoustical presence. A small speaker driver was installed, continuously and quietly emitting an electronic tone tuned to the strongest resonance of the room it was mounted in.

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Matching their dimensions, the tones were acoustically amplified by the rooms (and could thus be projected by the speakers extremely quietly). A tone then appeared to be equally loud throughout a space, and without direction; the rooms were humming at their inherent pitch. Walking through the courtyard, one would physically move through this spatially informed chord -interacting with the intimate acoustics of hutong life-, hearing specific intervals and gentle beatings at different positions.

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A sheet placed on a music stand described the frequency of the tone heard in a room, its tempered pitch equivalent and the two semitones adjacent to it. 4 violinists appeared each day during the exhibition, unannounced and unscheduled, freely choosing 1 of the rooms to perform in for 1 hour. Their only instruction was to play quiet single tones near the resonance,  further modulating the chord that was traveling through the courtyard. A visitor could encounter a number of musicians, a soloist, or the courtyard void of performers simply giving voice to its own resonance..

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Blind Spaces was part of the Beijing Design Week 2015 _ Baitasi Remade and was realised with the support of the Dutch Embassy in BeijingLong Strategic Consultancy and Moujiti. Violins; Yan Yulong, Jie Sheng, Wen Yuzhen, Ake.

. hear a longer audio impression of a walk through the courtyard