Looking at Gravel, sound composition, wood, gravel, speaker, headphone
In November 2017, fifteen scientists of different fields working at a German university were asked to go into an unfamiliar situation and spontaneously comment on what they see. The place was at the balcony of the wellness area of a hotel, which is situated in between historic walls – the scientists were asked to look at the gravel and comment on it from the background of their scientific expertise. Each individual statement gives an authentic view on reality, and although all of the statements are true in themselves they differ from each other. The situation in itself is simple, nevertheless different views on reality result from it. The sound composition interweaves the voices in chains of associations and allows the observer an approach to these views and to feel invited to an individual view on reality, too.
Looking at Gravel is constructed as a balcony made of wood watching over a gravel, the work invites guests to listen to a sound composition consisting of an arrangement of voices and statement by 15 scientists representing a variety of disciplines, encompasses medieval history, media studies, neurology, theology, mathematics, economics, physics, archaeology, biology, linguistics, philology, Egyptology, paleontology, sociology, and German literature. Suggestive of dynamic and heterogeneous complexes, the colors and shapes of the gravel, gave rise to a variety of reactions on the part of the participants. Taken together, the statements of the scientists exemplified the extent to which the perception of reality can be shaped by one‘s background and professional interests.
While listening to the sound composition via headphone, the visitor looks at the original gravel to which the scientist were exposed. Looking at Gravel joins the discussion of how reality is constructed by means of an artistic exploration of the relation between perception and knowledge.