After I first spotted the above image on DJ Stanton Warriors’ Facebook page, I knew I had to learn more. (As a side note, one person cleverly called the sculpture “Speaker Henge.”)
Artist Benoit Maubrey is director and founder of a Berlin-based art group called Die Audio Grippe. Mostly known for incorporating loudspeakers into clothes, like ballerina tutus (yes, you read that right), he’s also known for creating huge sculptures made with hundreds and even thousands of speakers. Found in public places, these “electroacoustic” sculptures have taken on various shapes like a temple, a gate and a wall.
Created for the current Sound as a Medium of Art exhibition in Germany, Temple was made with an astounding 3,000 recycled loudspeakers and assorted electronic parts, 10 recycled amplifiers, 10 recycled radios/tuners, and one mixing board. Soldered together, this impressive public sound speaker was inspired by the Greek temple at Delphi.
For Speakers Gate, Maubrey was inspired by a gateway of a 6th century fortress. It was made with 350 recycled loudspeakers, amplifiers, and radio receivers. Finally, for Speakers Wall the artist incorporated an actual piece of the Berlin Wall.
Interestingly, all of these sculptures actually produce sound. For example, with Temple, visitors hear white noise from radio receivers as well as people’s voices. The public is encouraged to interact with the installation. They can call a special, designated phone number to hear their voices booming through the thousands of speakers.