Crónica 156 2020
Release date: 31 March 2010
A100, the sound of the Berlin city highway.
The A100 is not just an infrastructural system occupying expanses of urban space, it is also a city-building force with massive physical, media and political presence. It generates a pulse of city life. It exerts influence over Berlin’s identity as a symbol of progress, of self-promotion and representation, while also being a reviled object, a disruptive element, and an art space.
City is sound, composed from myriad voices of everyday life. All of our listening space is dominated by the ubiquitous sound emissions of motorized traffic, which also mask numerous other sound events. Engine and vehicle sounds, paced and regulated by routings and traffic lights, resonate in an architectural space which amplifies, filters, and cuts them. This leads to an environment sonically annexed and coloured. A condition that we mostly leave unchallenged, take as given, and block from our awareness. At best, we comprehend it as a noise to be avoided, without further reflecting on the causal relationships with behaviors that engender it.
For over ten years, TAMTAM (Sam Auinger & Hannes Strobl) have pursued artistic research into urban living spaces. TAMTAM’s main concern is sonic experience of the city, along with the cultural development of particular places. The last two years they have explored the A100 Berlin city highway and its immediate environment through focused investigations, recording selected locations in audio and image. Their main interest was its various spatial and temporal qualities, its rhythm, and how it sonically organizes, emotionalises and influences surrounding space.
After many hours hearing the A100
It makes the city pulse
Coloured in greys
An object with:
characteristics + dynamics
seasons + routines
rushes + accidents
It divides, builds boundaries, occupies territory.
It is two-faced and multi-directional.
It dreams, arranges, progresses.
It enables and connects.
It is massive. It is experience.
It screams. It erases.
Composed of unwalkable expanses.
Hear it roar and roar and roar…