Skip links

Airbag Architecture

Airbag Architecture
September 24 – October 24, 2001
Opening for Airbag Architecture: 7:00pm, Monday, September 24, 2001

Sound Concert:

8:15pm – Media Lounge: Chases through non-places Thomas Couzinier & BATTERY OPERATED

Battery Operated (KIT)


Chases Through Non-Place

The premise for this work is to provide soundtracks for what Marc Auge termed non places – the proliferation of supermodern spaces which bear no relation to emotional or historical residues according to Auge. In fact he goes on to say that ‘non-places are a real measure of our time’ and he goes on to list examples of these non-places: ‘airport and railway stations, hotel chains, leisure parks, large retail outlets, and finally the skein of cable and wireless networks that mobilise extraterrestrial space for the purpose of a communication so peculiar that it often puts the individual in contact only with another image of himself’.

Battery Operated have made DAT recordings from eight non-places. The airport hotel, convenience stores, fast-food outlets etc are repetitive architectures which delineate human movement and action within them. (maybe the term neurotic architecture would define this movement better). The same paths and actions can be traced throughout buildings wherever they are situated within a global context. Thus supermodernity has its foundation laid in architectural plans which dictate our surveilled action in Burger King., Holiday Inn, and Airport waiting rooms – anytime, anywhere. The ideology and promises of a credit card culture are now being reified by the structures we use them in.

Constructing soundtracks for these buildings that control our movement through them means feeding a narrative through their corridors, waiting rooms, and no go zones. The chase narrative is a resonant vehicle to question these spaces by, as it is by nature chaotic and contingent. There is no planning for the chase as such, thus it transgresses the repetitive and neurotic actions undertaken in structures which demand our complicit behaviours.

Structures within sound, especially electronic sound produced since 1975 have depended heavily on repetition as an underlying format.

Chases through non-place will use the metaphor of the chase and its subsequent restructuring of ordered progression to produce polyrhythmic soundtracks for neurotic architecture. there will also be slides and video work projected throughout the performance.