Installation and sound projects

Sound installation

Sound installation is a multidisciplinary practice, based on concepts of space and sound. This theoretical and practical subject is imparted by a team of teachers composed of a sculptor, a composer, an architect specializing in acoustics and a performer working in the audiovisual space. The subject will teach the fundamental concepts to develop practical work in which the syntax of three-dimensional space intervenes; spatial organization in urban space and in the natural environment; the organization of sound, project management in the acoustic space and critical research that interrelations historical aspects and the practical realization of a collaborative sound installation by students.

This module is lectured by the professors Pedro Alcalde; Josep Cerda; Francesc Daumal  and  Barbara Held,  with the following structure and contents:

Space – José Cerda

4 sessions of 3h.

This part of the topic will address the syntax of three-dimensional space and spatial organization in urban space and in the natural environment. Spatial structuring will be studied through narrative routes and space sequences and introduced into the materials, construction techniques and artistic processes required for understanding and practical experimentation in sound sculpture and installations in three-dimensional space.

– Geophonies of silence

Sound identity of the place, sound environments and active listening. Sound drifts, sound walking, solitary walkers, flaneurs, walking artists and poets. Genius loci or the spirit of the place. Shinrin Yoku, microsounds and inaudible sounds. Silences in literature. Silent installations, performances and happenings.  

– Sound mapping and geolocation

Frontiers, levels and sound layers in urban space. Urban spaces defined by dynamics and mobility. Spatial and temporal trajectories. Sound compositions of urban spaces. Artistic mapping: maps of sounds, feelings and sensations. Graphical representation systems, reading codes, classification, processing and transmission of information. The city as text and stage, with multiple reading possibilities.

– Expose sounds

Experience sound with the timbre of materials and shapes. Notions of Rhythm, Composition, Symmetry, Harmony and its interrelationship in the plastic, performing, musical and three-dimensional arts. Cymatics, draw with sounds, images of how sound propagates into materials with geometric paths and patterns.

– Notions of space

Perception of space, physical, mental and sensory. Surfaces, territories and boundaries. Lines and routes in space. Trajectories, spatial and temporal stages. Rhythmic transitions and successions between spaces. Sound sequences, geometry of spaces and materials. Sound design of the space.

Sound – Pedro Alcalde

4 sessions of 3h.

This part of the topic is interconnected with “Space” in shared sessions. Sound will be considered both, as a temporal flow, as in its relationship to space and all projects that involve a multi, inter or anti disciplinary interaction with other arts or events.

– Playing with values and intensities

Sound wave and perceived sound: magnitudes and parameters. Practical creation exercises with isolated parameters: frequency, intensity, duration, partial spectrum, envelope and hood. combinatorial. Random roulette.

  • Debate: sound and light, listening and vision, other senses.
  • Practice: SCREEN SOUND COMPOSITION, short video with image and sound based on different games with sound parameters.

Texture maps

Graduation of the sound event flow: compositions with textures. Phrase and paradigm: horizontal timeline (opacity /clarity) and vertical density line (homogeneous/heterogeneous). Types of textures and ways to combine and juxtaposition.

  • Debate: sound sources, attributes, morphologies, symbolism, aesthetics, ethics.
  • Practice: REAL OR IMAGINARY SOUND MAP, mapping with audio files.

– Instructions, Scores, Annotations

Sound procedures, rhythms and developments. Tools: magnify, minimize, modify, give other use, rearrange, combine.

  • Debate: regulatory categories: linear / nonlinear, unit / multiplicity, durable / fleeting, objective / subjective, collective / individual, order / chaos, closed / open.
  • Practice: GRAPHIC SHEET AND SOUND DIARY, with audio materials.

– Sound scenes

Sound in interaction: installation, performance, video, cinema, net-art, dance, theater, public spaces, urban planning, landscaping, architecture… The different stage functions of sound will be worked: structural (association, continuity, punctuation), emotional, referencing, factual, symbolic and aesthetic in relation to different elements: theme, characters, action, space and time.

  • Debate: sound “in”, “out” and “off” – image / sound: identity, complementarity, opposition.
  • Practice: SOUND SCENE theme (AUDIO / VIDEO), duration and free format.

Project Management – Francesc Daumal

2 sessions of 3h.

The Project is the set of activities performed by a person or entity to achieve a certain objective or outcome. These activities can be interprofessional and therefore very interrelated. The project is based on different knowledge that is displayed through diagrams, drawings, graphics, schematics, sketches, models and other kinds of representation, this information is presented in print and/or digital format, developed to determine in some type of support, such as a work or an installation. Since the objective pursued by the project must be fulfilled within a certain period defined above and respecting specific budget and conditions of execution in the place and / or workshop, transfers, insurance, etc., is necessary a contract of legal clauses, descriptive and technical reports, graphic documentation, status of measurements and budgets, which sometimes must be very detailed.

– Project management

  • Preliminary draft
  • Project
  • Descriptive memory
  • Technical memory
  • Floor plans, heights and sections. Detail maps
  • Specifying technical conditions
  • Measurement status
  • Budget
  • Promotion
  • Contract (terms of completion and billing)
  • Billing. Management and taxes

– Reading plans

The scale

  • The plant and top floor plan
  • Heights
  • The sections
  • Perspectives and renders
  • Demolition and new construction
  • Models

Sound Installations – Barbara Held

4 sessions of 3h.

The installation, the sound work organized in space, arises at the intersection of many practices that have arisen radical ideas about new ways of creating art, since it has moved to the space of everyday life. We explore the resonant bonds of these interdisciplinary relationships and see how the spatial and relational qualities of sound have been fundamental to the birth of the immersive environment by artists from many disciplines in the context of the stories and methodologies of experimental music, performance, film and video. Following a collective research process that seeks to promote critical thinking and provide a conceptual basis aimed at creating a final collective practical project, we immerse ourselves in the non-chronological analysis of installation works and relevant texts. A work by Maryanne Amacher from her “Long Distance Music” sheet music series will be recreated in the classroom, as part of a special research into creative strategies for the live telematic presentation of sound art, expanding the concepts of space. The course concludes with the creation and production of a collaborative sound installation project with the participation of all class members.

The sound installation is not presented here as an established artistic category or product type, but as a question “why the installation?”

Sound installation – Concept

What about the artistic or aesthetic in a work made of ideas, phenomena or concepts that are interesting in themselves and that can be considered beautiful? Can sound create space? What questions do we ask about what we hear? The Event, Fluxus, the long-time frame of minimalism.

– Sound installation – Place and time

As Max Neuhaus stated, in a sound installation “sounds are placed in space and not in time”. The space can be social or political, gender or postcolonial, real or virtual, and can move through multiple moments and places.  Streaming, mutational space.

– Sound installation – Intermedial

Sound installation originates from the relationships between music, architecture and intermediate artistic practices. It is often based on the integration of sound with other media, especially the audiovisual environment. The image projected as an interface.

Sound installation – Production and public presentation

The practical sessions will be dedicated to the tutoring of the final sound installation project, with the advice of Francesc Daumal, lecturer of Acoustics.


1. Sound installation – Concept

2. Sound installation- Place and time

  • Amacher, Maryanne. Selected Writings and Interviews. Blank Forms Editions, 2020.
  • Blesser, Barry, and Linda-Ruth Salter. Spaces Speak, Are You Listening?: Experiencing Aural Architecture. MIT Press, 2009.
  • Cox, Christoph. Installing Duration: Time in the Sound Works of Max Neuhaus. Yale University Press, New Haven, 2009.
  • DeLanda, Manuel. “A Thousand Years of Nonlinear History, 2011”.
  • Glover, Richard, et al. Being Time: Case Studies in Musical Temporality. Bloomsbury Academic, 2019.
  • Gottschalk, Jennie. Experimental Music since 1970. Bloomsbury Academic, an Imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017.
  • Hu Fang. Towards a Non-Intentional Space. 2015.
  • Kuball, M., & Lersch, G. H. (2019). Res.o.nant. Berlin: Sternberg Press.