Air, Sound & Power. Sound installation. ZKM (Germany)

The concept of "Social Control", which used in a negative way serves to personal, corporate or state interests, is also an instrument and necessary tool to organize the societies. In a positive way it serves to the regulation and the well-being of societies.

Social norms, institutions, laws, hierarchies, indoctrination, behaviors generally accepted practices and customs, sanctions and a long list of aspects make up this multi-semantic concept whose main objective is the strengthening and the survival of the group, at best, or the domain and interest, at worst.

The workshop that has given the spanish Group in the ZKM has focus on so-called "social control technologies" that use sound or music to exert power, dominance, control or simply to organize the society.

This audio-visual installation has been designed, thought and built by all workshop participants (Escoitar group and participants) and shows a map of some of the sound devices that are used for regulating and controlling the society in the city of Karlsruhe.

We cannot explain sound, we can only experience and understand it. When we listen to a sound this sound melts with us, it accompanies us in our lives. It travels with us in our time line. The human being cannot cut the flow of sonorous information. We cannot cut the flow of sonorous information in a mechanical form because we don't have eyelids on our ears. We cannot stop listening. We are beings that always listen. The sensors of hearing are always connected, always working. Also we know that sound is always in movement, like us. It is also a type of live being. Sound is alive.

This sound installation shows a simultaneous soundscape of Karlsruhe, sounds that accompany us, stop us, force us to walk, put us firm and on foot, move our emotions or create invisible links between peoples.

The installation opens a window for the world of sound.

How is the sound used to control our lives and our society?


TITLE: “Air, Sound and Power. Sound technologies for social control”.
PRODUCTION: Enrique Baez, Dominique Buchtala, Sylvia von Bukow, Fabian Früh, Horacio González, Chiu Longina, Juan-Gil López and Tom Zielen.
SOFTWARE: Processing, OpenstreetMap, Google Maps and GIS (software by
REALIZATION: March, 2009.
FORMAT: Audio-Visual installation with tactile interface.


Special thanks to Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe; Frau Hirth, Herr Reissenberger, Frau Seiberlin, Herr Moeller (SWR Karlsruhe); Direktorin Dr. Barnstedt, Frau Benz (Bundesverfassungsgericht); Alois Dreher (Gartenbauamt/Zoo Karlsruhe); Christian-Markus Raiser (Organist und Kantor der ev. Stadtkirche); Kurt Kramer (Glockensachverstaendiger); Musikhaus Schlaile, SPV Karlsruhe; Security Staff from Ettlinger Tor Shopping Center; Mannel Graf (live performer) and all the staff of ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie).
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