ArchiCulture Studio designed the visual identity, site and graphic elements of World Voices Project, an artistic audio installation that took place at New York's South Street Seaport [Google Map] from July 20 through August 3, 2008.
World Voices Project, created by location sound engineer and artist Brenda Ray, is a mosaic of recordings of people reading the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights in their native language. The exhibition marks the 60th Anniversary of the Declaration, celebrated around the globe.
Stephanie Simon from NY1 News interviews Zoran Zelic of ArchiCulture Studio for World Voices Project installation
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The Seaport is one of Manhattan's most popular tourist destinations, situated on the East River just south of the Brooklyn Bridge. The exhibit was located on the third floor of the Pier 17 in a large food court area and attracted hundreds of visitors daily. In this massive atrium, the installation's presence was achieved with a large banner that hung below the skylight of the 50 foot cathedral ceiling, welcoming visitors to the exhibition area. Our choice of the banner's mesh fabric allowed light and air to pass through it, giving the exhibit a flowing and expansive ambiance.
The nature of the space presented certain acoustical and visual challenges. The primary aesthetic criteria was to maintain the focus on sound, but the space was an acoustically hostile environment. A jungle of almost sixty hanging headphones, representing as many languages, was the most effective way to isolate the audio and attract a crowd.
ArchiCulture Studio needed to create visual elements that were educational, economical, elegant and engaging without overshadowing the audio. To identify each headphone according to its corresponding language, we created curved labels that followed the shape of the headsets and sat elegantly above the listener, much like a halo.
Each device also had a hanging tag with background information about the language. The headphones were attached with a bungee to a suspended aluminum speed-rail grid that could be raised and lowered on electric chain motors, allowing the headsets to be accessible to all ages.
The spaciousness of the atrium and a spectacular view onto the East River gave the listener an expansive, contemplative vista. Another challenge was to incorporate the windows into the exhibition without inhibiting the view of the river as well as compete for the visitors' attention. With a desire to depict where the languages came from, a transparent world map was printed onto the windows. It was visually pleasing and the "New York City Waterfalls", the Olafur Eliasson art installation under the Brooklyn Bridge was very much apparent on the other side of the glass.
The overall design was modern and sleek, lending itself to the intended audio focus by using neutral colors and materials: silver headphones, black & white language label lettering, black bungee cords, aluminum speed-rails above, a black metal information table with a clear glass top, and a dark blue rug inspired by the planet's oceans. The graphics carried throughout the installation are part of the Project's complete visual identity designed by our studio:
|By purchasing WVP T-shirts,
you support the continuation
inspiring and educational
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|>> Throughout the entire exhibit period ArchiCulture Design Studio provided a live webcast of the event. You can watch recorded video clips on Ustream.TV WorldVoicesProject channel.
>> EXCLUSIVELY!! We also offered a FIRST EVER LIVE WEB STREAMING IN 3-D! Anyone around the world was able to watch live, real-time 3-D broadcast over the internet. You can still watch recorded video clips on our Ustream.TV WorldVoicesProject-3D channel.
[Don't have red-blue 3D glasses? Order from us for FREE.] Read more in our 3D Stereoscopy section.
>> Interested in presenting your event in 3-D? Please contact us.
REACTIONS AND MEDIA COVERAGE:
Italian RAI News 24 interviews artist Brenda Ray and NYC Mayor Human Rights commissioner Pat Gatling
The show was incredibly well received, with international television coverage, NYC Mayoral support, endorsement by the United Nations and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and enthusiastic and inspired visitors to the exhibit.
Premiere opening of WVP with UN Human Rights Office director Craig Mokhiber and ACLU Human Rights attorney Chandra Bhatnaga
The Declaration is thought to be the most widely translated document in the world, with more than 380 translations. Ray's goal is to record every spoken language. World Voices Project is to be presented throughout the world as an artistic and educational audio installation exhibited in a variety of venues such as museums, corporations, governments, NGO's, colleges and universities. A key focus is to reach young people, to encourage them to grow up embracing people's differences instead of fearing them, and to appreciate other cultures which leads to respecting human rights.
Response to World Voices Project @ The South Street Seaport
|>> To view many other photos from this engaging and poetic sound installation, please see World Voices Project Installation gallery in our Photography section.
|>> Interested in presenting the installation in your venue? Please let us know, or visit the World Voices Project web site.|
From December 10th, 2008, World Voices Project
was on display at the newly opened
Action Center To End World Hunger
6 River Terrace, Battery Park City, New York
Brenda Ray (WVP creator) with visitors and Zoran Zelic (ArchiCulture designer)
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