BBASS is a minimalistic-appearing, projection installation, created as a contribution to the Ghent Light Festival.
In collaboration with SAQ, the Brussels-based architecture studio, and the artistic direction of Berlin-based Florian Licht, the auditorium of the University of Ghent, with its adorned, domed ceiling and an artificially drawn-in PVC hemisphere on the floor, was transformed into an oversized dual speaker for a period of three days.
By synchronizing the aligned video projection with sub-frequency, synthetic bass tones, an extremely contrasting experience of space was created compared to the original state of the room.
The symmetrical layout of the circular auditorium is reinforced in the horizontal axis by adding a stretched PVC canvas over the sitting area. The geometry of the canvas acts as a mirror image of the dome above. Animated light is projected on the canvas, as well as on the dome, while the visitors stand in between, on the peristyle level.
In its presented impulses, the installation behaves like a living organism. Through the randomi
sed succession of short visible and audible sequences, appearing at varying intervals, the viewer falls into the dependence of waiting and expectancy. A continuously prevalent pulsating background sound and a low basic brightness in the room, which only allows one to slightly recognise the ornamental decorations of the huge auditorium, produced an almost devoutly, cathedral-like atmosphere.
Light animation intensified by short, but powerful, sound scenes also perceptible through floor vibrancy, converts the hall into an abstract space: it acts upon the presence of spectators and questions the way they relate to the room. Like an oversized sound box, the lit-up features form a spectacle that distorts all sense of scale and time. The composed sound accompanies and emphasises the visual impressions: first gratifying, then gradually confusing the spectators' spatial references.
During the three nights of the Ghent Light festival, BBASS turned out to be a public favorite and was visited by more than 80.000 people.
Architects | SAQ Architects, Brussels, Belgium
Artistic Direction & Video Production | Florian Licht, Berlin, Germany
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Technical info | PVC Barrisol membrane
Picture credits | Mike Bink