'Platform' positions itself literally and figuratively as a bipolar field, displaying a dichotomy of vibrant idealism and static power. Static power resonates the platform as it prescribes minimal living space answers to the ambitions of power institutions or systems of control, to which the ideal user is subjected to relieve him of his subjective idealism. Not being able to partake in planning is the root of need and weak social positions, even insanity, disease, terror…
On top of the remains of the railway tracks around the former Maastricht industrial station Boschpoort, Paul Devens placed a heightened platform accentuating the former form in two dimensions, through an engraved outline. Through these an acoustic pattern becomes audible, captures the listener in the sonic environment it establishes along each ‘room’ in the platform grid. Inspired by the static power directing minimal dimensions for a living condition and acknowledging their part in the soil of our history, we may reside in romantic idealism on top of it: the audience is allowed to walk over, sit at, or lay down on it.
Only then the work is technically fully in use. Then, at and on this stage, the surface accentuates the milled outlines of the floor plans and becomes a means to indicate several spaces in a two-dimensional way. Here the acoustic part of the work, consisting of a soundscape recorded in a variety of European cities, comes out best. In it, there is a focus on the sounds of people’s mobility rather than their static enclosure. The humility of private disciplining and public openness intersect on this platform, almost like a whiteout cloud in which contrasts resonate on the spot.
The grid on the platform refers to standard size rooms:
• the Dutch Building Regulations of the Social Housing Act (of March 2013, as provided by the 'Nederlands Normalisatie-Instituut', NEN);
• the law applying to Building Regulations for Penitentiary Institutions (rijksoverheid.nl);
• the dimensions of a cell at Guantanamo Bay (news.bbc.co.uk);
• a cell at the RAF-prison at Celle, and a sleeping room in one of the houses of ‘dwelling--school Ravelijn.
2013 'Parkers', Frontenpark Maastricht, 'Waving Platforms', Onomatopee, Eindhoven, Netherlands.
(Platform at Onomatopee here: vimeo.com/83672779 )
Wooden platform, Mac Mini (software: Reaktor), 20-channel speaker system. 500 x 700 x 40 cm
Thank you Freek Lomme, Bart van den Boom, Guus van den Akker, Nolwenn Salaun, Karin Peulen, Arek Laskowski, Mick Smits, Onomatopee, Parkers, Bureau Europa, Mondriaan Fund