“plis/replis” : Pommery #9 – La Fabrique Sonore (2011)

pommery panoramic

Robin Meier and Ali Momeni
in collaboration with Hyoung-Gul Kook (architect)
Curated by Claire Staebler and Charles Carcopino
for Vranken Pommery Monopole, Reims

more images here

“The Baroque refers not to an essence but rather to an operative function, to a trait.  It endlessly produces folds. […] the Baroque trait twists and turns its folds, pushing them to infinity, folds over folds, one upon the other. The Baroque fold unfurls all the way to infinity […] moving along two infinities, as if infinity were composed of two stages or floors: the pleats of matter and the folds in the soul. […] a great Baroque montage that moves between the lower floor, pierced with windows, and the upper floor, blind, and closed, but on the other hand resonating as if it were a musical salon translating the visible movements below into sounds up above.” – Gilles Deleuze  from “The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque”, 1992 [“Le Pli: Leibniz et le Baroque”, 1988]

The fold, as a multi-layered metaphor for the relationship between mind and matter, inspires plis/replis. The installation is made up of a highly geometric, folded and suspended structure that amplifies the experiences and metaphors of champagne. The primary structure, a 10 x 10 x 12m cone suspended in a pyramid, underground cave (a “crayères”) – one of the largest crayères of Vranken-Pommery’s 18km long underground system of corridors and caves dating back to Roman times.  This architectural augmentation of the space also serves as a functional loud speaker.  A glass platform suspended at the focal point within the cone holds a vessel filled with champagne. Using the actual sounds of effervescence picked up by a special microphone immersed in the champagne vessel, a real-time analysis/synthesis audio system creates a continually evolving sound environment, diffused downward from above.

The architectural design of this work combines ancient paper folding techniques with contemporary computer-aided-design and manufacturing processes. The form is inspired by mathematician and origami expert Taketoshi Nojima, especially his work reproducing organic forms from folded paper. Our collaboration with architect Hyoung-Gul Kook allowed us to design, fabricate and assemble this suspended 345 cubic-meter structure from 285 flat sheets of aluminum/polyethylene composite, precisely folded 2,535 times. This structure acoustically amplifies the sound from a single speaker-driver in order to create an enclosed space that bathes the listener in its center in sound.

Architectural Drawings

Pour La Fabrique sonore, Robin Meier et Ali Momeni conçoivent une nouvelle gamme de sons. Les deux artistes, également musiciens, mettent en commun leurs différentes ressources et créent un dispositif amplifiant et étirant dans le temps et dans l’espace le son de l’effervescence du champagne diffusé à travers un haut-parleur monumental. Passionnés de formes organiques et biologiques, pour l’élaboration de la forme de ce pavillon sonore, Meier et Momeni ont utilisé des formes comme l’organisation d’une pomme de pin ou des graines de tournesol.
Inspirés par les travaux de l’artiste origami et mathématicien japonais Taketoshi Nojima, les deux jeunes artistes, avec l’aide de l’architecte Hyoung-Gul Kook, ont traduit la fragilité de l’origami à l’échelle d’une crayère. Détournant le son microscopique du champagne, Meier et Momeni, explorent l’acoustique de ce pavillon déplié et de la crayère tout en conviant le public à une pluie de bulles sonorisées. – Claire Staebler