2002 Vu Dordt

Municipality of Dordrecht, the Netherlands

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“Behind the façade of Dordrecht council’s town hall the civil servants, on behalf of the citizens, are hard at work on the city’s future. So why not let the outside of the building reflect something of the plans, ambitions and developments buzzing around in the municipal organisation. This was why, when the façade was being renewed, the artist Jeroen Doorenweerd was commissioned to let the building’s exterior portray something of the many activities going on inside it. Doorenweerd created Vu-Dordt, a work based on the vu-meters used on recording equipment and amplifiers to make volume visible. In exactly the same way he allows the level of noise in the town hall - as measured by two microphones at the reception desk - to be seen on the outside of the building. Two series of gigantic LEDs show passers by the current level of activity. Every sound made in the entrance hall produces a deflection of the meters outside. The more noise the higher the columns of LEDs light up. At a normal level of noise the eleven green LEDs will light up first, one after another from the bottom upwards and when the noise is really loud the top three red lights will go on too. Doorenweerd decided not to record the amount of thought and decision-making but rather the busy murmur of everyday noises like the click of high heels on a tiled floor or an employee humming to himself. Outside, in the immediate vicinity of the entrance, the noise recorded by the microphones is also audible. This gives the visitor the strange experience of hearing the sound of the building he is about to enter while he is still outside. Or vice versa, the sound of the place he is leaving can still be heard when he is outside.” (press communiqué)