Since 1983 Benoit Maubrey has been building SPEAKER SCULPTURES: interactive sound sculptures for public spaces. These sculptures allow the public to express itself and play music or messages directly through them.
The sculptures are made of up to 3000 recycled loudspeakers and electronics. The speakers are wired together as a single 8-channel sound system. The form of the sculpture is site-specific, they “adaptable” to their environment or country by taking on various shapes like an entranceway (GATEWAY, Berlin Festspiele 2014), a TEMPLE (Karlsruhe, 2012), a GATE (Kirschau (Saxen/Germany, 2010), a Japanese SHRINE (Kobe, 2015) a WALL (Angers/ France, 2011), or an IGLOO (1997, Hull Time Based Arts, UK, 2004 Singuhr Gallery/Berlin). More info on Benoit Maubrey website.
The public and local artists can participate via many ways:
- Calling a telephone number and expressing themselves for 3 minutes,
- Via Bluetooth and individual Smartphones people can relay songs and messages to the sculpture,
- via direct “line in,” people can connect their devices and instruments directly to the sculpture,
- Eventually, an App could be created for direct Smartphone connections.
Additionally, the sculpture can be used as PA system for events, DJs, and small concerts.
The new ARENA project is conceived in the shape of a small amphitheater so that the sculpture can be presented both as a “Speakers Corner” — a low-key “hot spot” for local participation and self-expression (“Audio Graffiti”) but also function as a stage for small events and concerts.
The sculpture is created from 4 modular elements (quadrophonic) that are fitted together as a single amphitheater or split up into different elements that function as concert “boxes” with more sound volume.
The sculpture itself has only signal cable and therefore is not electrically dangerous.
The durability of the structure: some of my sculptures (see the snow-decked TEMPLE photo) are meant to last for years. Note that most recycled (used) speakers are very durable objects made of solid wood that has already withstood the tooth of time. Loudspeakers are wood and magnetic cones that are practically impossible to destroy: in the worst case of vandalism or deterioration one only needs to replace the speaker. The speakers themselves are mounted onto a solid core support structure made of weatherproofed wood. A supply of extra replacement speakers takes care of the rest.