Ghost in the Machine

Place both elbows to the railing, place hands to skull, hear airplanes, bombs, and air-raid horns fill your eardrums the same as if you were there, Dresden Germany, 1945. Markus K has designed a different kind of memorial, one that allows the person visiting to not only stand in the place where history happened, but to hear and experience it as well.

Markus Kison designs a new kind of memorial: “‘Touched Echo’ is a minimal medial intervention in public space. The visitors of the Brühl’s Terrace (Dresden, Germany) are taken back in time to the night of the terrible air raid on 13th February 1945. In their role as a performer they put themselves into the place of the people who shut their ears away from the noise of the explosions. While leaning on the balustrade the sound of airplanes and explosions is transmitted from the swinging balustrade through their arm directly into into the inner ear (bone conduction).

“The sound is not transmitted in air and throught the middle ear but instead through the skull bone. To send the sound over the arm and hand to the skull bone, the railing of the Brühlsche Terasse is equipped with several custom made sound conductors and set into a vibration.”

Looks (and sounds!) like an extraordinary kind of memorial! Imagine these installed at sites of great marches, addresses by presidents, and first takeoffs! This could be as common as the everyday plaque, and much more meaningful. And then think of the other applications: Touched Echo gravesites and tombs. Oooh…

Designer: Markus Kison

14 Comments

  • lexdrive says:

    Мне очень понравилось! Я Ваш подписчик теперь )

  • powers says:

    Right on. Extremely simple, powerfully effective. Right down to the position the listener takes… This is how it is done.

  • Brian says:

    Excellent design – simple & elegant!

  • Henry says:

    Excellent design – not so original : Laurie Anderson used it for an installation 20 years ago (or so)

  • Pax says:

    Very, very nice idea! I can see it being useful in other places, too: clips of Martin Luther’s famous “I have a Dream” speech, built right into the railing around an appropriate monument in D.C. …

    … or, again at an appropriate monument or marker, a clip of JFK’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech.

    Adding sound, in an apparently low-failure, weather-resistant format, is a GREAT addition to the pallet of options for people designing monuments, memorials, and even “Walking history tours” through major cities (thinking of the Freedom Trail in Boston, MA, just now).

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