"caesura: a forum" is a sound installation designed by Harlem-based practice Jerome W Haferd and K Brandt Knapp in collaboration with artist Jessica Feldman that will celebrate its grand opening at this weekend's Harlem Arts Festival in Harlem, New York City. Haferd and Knapp won the Architectural League's first Folly competition in 2012 with their "Curtain" proposal.
The word "caesura", which is defined as a pause or a break, will serve as a temporary public gathering space at the Marcus Garvey Park while the park's iconic Mount Morris Fire Watchtower undergoes reconstruction. Designed as a "horizontal tower", visitors can gather underneath the white arched forms that meander throughout the structure as well as listen to Feldman's interactive sound composition of bells and a mixed compilation of voice recordings of speeches, rallies, and chants throughout Harlem's history. Another nifty feature is an online component that lets people not physically present at the site to trigger the "bell" and contribute their own live audio that will sound through the white arches.
"caesura" will stand at the park's Acropolis until October 31, 2015.
Scroll down to read more about it.
"cae•su•ra: a forum is inspired by Marcus Garvey Park’s iconic antebellum Mount Morris Fire Watchtower, and by Harlem’s vibrant tradition of activism and rallies. The bell is silent now, as the tower was temporarily dismantled in 2015 as the first phase for its reconstruction. Simultaneously, Harlem is undergoing dynamic change and New York City is experiencing a resurgence of public culture. caesura seeks to temporarily fill an architectural gap – and create a social space – by echoing and inverting the form and function of the absent tower."
"Like the bell, caesura aims to call up the neighborhood, to preserve and revitalize Harlem’s histories, and to connect newer and older community members to each other, by reactivating this site for congregation, viewing, and listening. The installation will reframe history with a temporary structure and sound. A 'caesura' is a break or pause, a place to catch your breath, most specifically in ancient spoken-word art."
"The architectural component of this piece begins at the Acropolis ground as an open-air, steel frame that supports a 'horizontal tower', which the viewer can pass through and meander under. In the center of the piece, a flattened 'bell' made of reflective steel reflects the sky to the south, where the tower stood, and the expansive view to the of the city to the north. Above, the rectilinear skeleton becomes a curvaceous form on the interior, hovering above and visible to visitors passing beneath."
"The double-curved surfaces are seen through resonating film, linear tubes, and profiles of steel. Light and air movements dynamically open, pattern, and break from the undulating form. The sonic component of the piece consists of Feldman’s interactive composition, made up of bell sounds and voices. Historical and contemporary recordings and live-streaming voices from speeches, rallies, chants, and assemblies in Harlem are alternated with a through-composed layer of echoing bells. These sounds play and pause throughout the day, making acoustic space for participation and assembly. Analogous to a megaphone, the formal profile of the tower has been tipped sideways, allowing sound to be projected outward."
"Taut, translucent film runs through this shape and is mounted with electromagnetic transducers that turn the material into a speaker, allowing sound to pour down from the spaces in between the arches above visitors. The reflective steel plate emits sounds composed of the reverberations of bells. A microphone mounted at the entrance to the installation allows visitors to broadcast their own voices through the piece."
"Those not present can participate through an interactive online component, allowing them to trigger the bell and contribute their own live audio to the arches. New and old histories are recorded, spliced, and digitally scripted together, activating the acropolis throughout the day."
More info here.
Check out more project images in the thumbnail gallery below.
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