Spatial Sound

A Retrospective (2017)

Celebrating the opening of MONOM, Berlin’s centre for spatial sound, the Spatial Sound Institute looks back on five years of emerging spatial sound practices in 4DSOUND.

Carefully selected from 4DSOUND’s extensive catalogue - counting close to a hundred spatial sound productions to date - the retrospective exhibits fifteen sound sculptures created by artistic collaborators from the fields of music, technology, architecture and media arts - ranging from some of the earliest experiments to most recent works.

During the past ten years, 4DSOUND has been developing and refining the technology to create, perform and experience sound spatially. At present, spatial sound is rapidly gaining broader recognition as our media are moving towards 3-dimensional representations using virtual reality, augmented reality or 360-video technologies. But beyond the fact that we can represent sound spatially ever more accurately with our evolving technologies - why is this important? What is spatial sound about, beyond a mere reproduction of the reality that is already familiar to us?

Spatial sound tells us something essential about how we relate as human beings to our environment. It also tells us something essential about the inner workings of our perception and consciousness. More than anything, the exhibited works question the ways we experience reality through listening. Is the reality we hear based on what we know and assume about the world around us? Can a single sound in space embody a personal memory, a political conflict, fear of the unknown? What are the sounds that inhabit our environments? Can we listen from within them? And then what do we perceive?

The retrospective provides a present perfect of spatial sound - the coming-of-age of a creative discipline that opens up ways of expressing and communicating with sound that were not possible before. It seeks to unveil something of the beauty and complexity of this new medium, that we are only on the verge of starting to understand.

Including works by Murcof, JG Biberkopf, Peter van Hoesen, Koenraad Ecker, IOANN, Alyssa Moxley, Shaun Crook, Maxime Gordon, Casimir Geelhoed, John Connell, Paul Oomen and Edgard Varese

Curated by Paul Oomen