The proposal is intended to outline the conceptual and technical details for the realization of a site-specific art installation at Gallery +359 in Sofia, Bulgaria. Designed in 1903 to operate as a water tower, the preserved building now hosts a contemporary art gallery. But what if the whole structure comes back to life, reclaiming all the space that once owned? How would space look like if it was inhabited by the memory of its past? ‘’John Cage’s famous anechoic chamber experiment, in which he discovered that even in a supposedly sound-free environment he could still hear the sounds of his own circulatory system, confirmed the inescapability of sound and is the cornerstone of these later experiments. It also confirms the association of sound with being alive (and of silence with death); one of the psychological underpinnings of seeking out the latency of sound in objects (or in silence) would be that the object was actually somehow alive – and that if it was alive it was in some sense a companion.” (A. Licht, 2009) Rhizome is a large-scale art installation that aims to transform the architecture of the old water tower into a giant living organism that has re-appropriated, with the whole extension of its body, all its vital space. Let’s imagine a large number of water pipes of different sizes and shapes intertwining together all over the tower, then blending with different light and sound sources to form an immersive path that leads the visitor up to the water tank, the beating heart of the entire system.
The goal is to make the visitors experience a unique oneiric reality through a superimposition of shapes, colors, sounds, vibrations, all acting as reminiscence of the original nature of the structure while at the same time inducing completely new interpretations and suggestions. Thanks to the introduction of new visual and sonic elements, an expanded conception of listening and sight is therefore possible. As objects dislocate along the tower, and sounds resonate within it, new contours, paths, and associations occur that extend beyond ordinary human perception and cognition. The themes of metamorphosis and memory are put at the center of the project through different interventions in the building to create a new ecosystem in a ‘parasitic’ relationship with the original architecture. From the outside, visitors can immediately notice a network of pipes passing through the windows. Once inside, they will find themselves immersed in a space where many other patterns are visible, and a small “waterfall” of heavy smoke comes out of one of the pipes while gently landing on the ground. Climbing the stairs, the visitors can realize how the “waterfall” of smoke is nothing more than the end of a structure much denser than what appeared from the outside. In fact, by walking up the tower it is somehow possible to retrace the path designed by the network of pipes within the space of the gallery, in a dark, suffused and dreamy atmosphere where lights emanating from the pipes alternate and blend with the sounds echoing throughout the structure, recalling the water that flows inside them. Upon entering the tank, visitors will find themselves in front of the core of the installation: a circular steel plate of 1mt diameter filled with a solution of water and special inks will be positioned in the water tank with a surface transducer attached to its bottom surface.
The technical and creative concepts behind it are the result of studies and experiments conducted over the last years in vibrations and sound propagation through different surfaces and materials, and more generally, in different ways of perceiving the sound. Sounds with frequencies corresponding to the acoustic resonances of the material are used to vibrate this plate. In this way, we can think of the system as a big acoustic loudspeaker that is not only able to generate sounds but to make the water oscillate. The water works as a three-dimensional mass that translates sounds into visual elements; it appears in constant motion, and all the vibrations of the plate generate a continuous kaleidoscope of sounds and visual elements in response to the respective sound impulse - from chaotic patterns to standing waves (exemple: https://straticollective. com/wunderkammer). Simultaneously, several tiny loudspeakers will be hidden within the pipes at each floor to amplify sounds that have been previously recorded and composed to acoustically simulate the water flow. The result is therefore a site-specific soundscape where sounds are mixed with the ambiance derived from the resonances of the plate, of the water pipes, and the tower’s acoustics that helps to increase the feeling of being in front of a giant, breathing organism. It is here that the visitor will finally realize he is in front of a living being that has re-appropriated its space, and the memory of the place lives on vividly in the installation. The whole tower will be flooded with a soundscape that will give the impression of being in a distant place, where you can feel the presence of something alive, through the echo of the water and other organic sounds. It is precisely the presence of “live” and dynamic sounds that gives life to the work. 
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