“Klangtheater GanzOhr” (Sound-Theater AllEars) is a theater of hearing into which computer animation sequences have been integrated as visual elements.
In the ORF’s Funkhaus studio in Vienna, a unique, artistically designed space was created to make possible a fantastic journey through a wide range of acoustic stimuli and impressions—the “Klangtheater GanzOhr.” The “listener” is transported on a moving platform through a darkened space. There are numerous stations along the way that present an acoustic historical narrative on the development and positioning of radio from 1889 to the present.
The Ars Electronica Center’s contributions were produced in collaboration with Hans Hoffer and Sam Auinger. The unique challenge here was, on one hand, to endow this installation—a Klangtheater, a theater of hearing—with visual elements, and, on the other hand, to design the computer controls of everything taking place in the sound tunnel. The computer animation sequence “Journey to the Center of the Mind” is based on artistic conceptualizations by Hans Hoffer and was presented at the very start of the acoustic journey. It symbolized the departure from real space and the entry into the imaginary world of sounds, into the dimensionless space of hearing.
The stereoscopic projection “Seen from Outer Space, the Earth is Blue” is not merely displayed on-screen—it floats freely in space as it were. With the help of ultra-light glasses, viewers experience a spatial depth effect. Thus equipped, they approach the Earth like a space ship returning from the cosmos; during a high-altitude fly-over, they can hear radio programs from all over the globe. The overriding consideration in designing the computer controls of everything taking place in the sound tunnel was to interlink the movements of the platform with the projection screen, the lighting elements, the projectors, and the video and audio computers, and to make sure that they kept time—that is, that they were synchronized with each other. They had to always emit the right signals at the right time in order to insure a smooth sequence of events and a harmonious overall impression upon visitors.
Projection technology in cooperation with the firm SVV-Nürnberg