The Shape of Sound

The new Bauhaus Museum is built up and deconstructed using visualized rhythms. "The Shape of Sound" is an interactive projection that concentrates on hands, gestures and sounds. Hands explore the facade and begin to create sounds and rhythms. The building is transformed into a body of light and sound. The audience is animated by inviting gestures to become part of the projection. The sounds themselves come directly from the Bauhaus Museum façade.




 Jonas Denzel, film&media artist from Karlsruhe/Germany




This year, the Genius Loci Weimar festival will also feature a contemporary building as a place of illumination and performance – the newly opened Bauhaus Museum. This is just one of the ways that the original competition for facade projection is expanding to include the roles and remits of media architecture, which represents an increasingly common component of the modern cityscape. Today, contemporary media architecture finds itself in the highly topical space between welcomed communication and accusations of sensory overload, and must face the challenges of re-aestheticising urban spaces whilst avoiding unnecessary light pollution. In its use of light, the field of media architecture tackles issues of design, quality, functionality and sustainability as its central creative motifs. A simulation of a permanent media architecture installation will be realised during the festival weekend using the tools and techniques of videomapping.

The new Bauhaus Museum will open its doors in April 2019 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus. The Bauhaus School in Weimar and the Weimar Republic both began life in 1919 and both were in pursuit of a modern, democratic and cosmopolitan society.

The new Bauhaus Museum views itself as an ‘open workshop’ and a place of experience through participation in and mediation of the processes of craft and design. With its motto of “How do we want to live together?”, it does not follow a strict teaching concept. This question, which was originally posed by Walter Gropius, can be understood as an appeal to bring the spirit of the Bauhaus to life. Among the exhibits are the Bauhaus inventory, which was begun by Walter Gropius himself and is the oldest collection of its kind.

Inside the building, visitors can look over and across the various levels. The clear architecture of the new building spans five floors with two-storey open spaces that provide a variety of outlooks, insights and views.

The new Bauhaus Museum is on the axis described by the former Nazi Gauforum just north of the Goetheplatz, the art gallery of ‘Harry Graf Kessler’, who was also pioneer of the Bauhaus movement, and the German National Theatre, where the National Assembly met in 1919.

With its sober and clear structure, which leaves ample room for individual creative forms and visual languages, the new Bauhaus Museum is well suited as a site for medial performance.

The intention is to use the facades in their entirety and to simulate a medial performance through the use of projectors, lighting elements or other means of illumination or display. The windows will also be covered so that they are suitable for projection. Interested applicants are requested to develop a 10-15 minute video that will be repeated half-hourly at the venue over the course of the festival weekend. The video should also contain audio, either as a specific accompaniment to the performance or as a means to creating the desired atmosphere in the festival context. Room acoustics are also possible, encompassing multi-channel 3D audio or spatially separated, focused ‘audio islands’ of different narrations. Here, consideration should be given to visitor numbers. For the visual performance, the competition is also open to experimental standpoints such as images that differ in meaning or impact as a function of perspective, or interactive augmentation using smartphones.

With ‘Call for a fiction', the competition organisers hope to free the applicants from all forms of thematic restraint. In earlier editions, submissions to the Genius Loci Weimar competition were tasked with reflecting the spirit of the respective location. For the Bauhaus Museum, the works should include the development of a fiction that resonates between architecture and medial envelope. The explored topics and issues could perhaps be decided and defined by an artificial intelligence – we are open to all suggestions. With no limits for what we hope will be visionary design concepts, your inspiration and open-mindedness are a must.