There’s more than one way to recycle a speaker, and Berlin-based installation artist Benoît Maubrey takes it to a creative extreme in his monumental Speaker’s Wall. Using thousands of recycled speakers and a genuine piece of the Berlin Wall, people can actually call up a hotline and speak their thoughts via answering machine, which would be amplified by this immense wall of sound.
Maubrey, who calls his sculptures “electroacoustical art,” says that the speaker sculptures give a chance for individuals to voice whatever’s on their mind:
For this electroacoustic sculpture I used an original segment of the Berlin Wall and extended it with 1000 recycled loudspeakers, radios, and amplifiers. People could call up the sculpture and talk through it directly for 3 minutes. The whole sculpture amplified peoples statements and functions as a “Speakers Corner”. During its installment at “Le Quai: Forum des Arts Vivants” more than 1800 calls were registered. During DJ concerts the Wall also served as PA system.
Maubrey work also includes other interesting acoustical experiments, such as his “Audio Ballerinas” which consist of plexiglass tutus outfitted with speakers, allowing users to interact acoustically with their environment through their movements.
Though it may not be as practical as recycling a speaker for personal use, Maubrey's intriguing recycled sculptures push the envelope on how our relationship with sound and its instruments can be re-conceptualized.
See more of Maubrey's fascinating work on his website.