Brandon LaBelle – Room Tone


Errant Bodies Press, Pap/Psc edition, ISBN: 978-098274395, English, 84 pages, 2015, Germany

Architecture and audio are naturally related, as both represent an almost exclusively static and visible structure that changes the form and the effect of an almost exclusively dynamic and invisible element. Beyond pure acoustics, the aural use of architecture is an ancient practice that can be dated back 2500 years to Greek auditoriums. Nevertheless, there’s another perspective in this relationship that hasn’t been largely investigated. This involves formulating architecture as an intimate space. This book is a documentation of another project by Brandon LaBelle, centred around this topic. He realised a set of three audio recordings of his apartment in Berlin, sending them to architects, designers and artists from all over the world. He then asked each of them to make a physical model of the apartment, using the recordings as the sole source of information. LaBelle’s concept of sound as an “emergent community” speaks to the unavoidable physical pervasiveness of sounds themselves, going through bodies and establishing a passive, temporary induced proximity. The gesture of instigating specific spatial sounds allows the collective creation of what the author defines as an “acoustical imaginary”. The documentation of these induced acoustical imaginaries, including also their installations, has a remarkable social and technical value. The book includes an interview with LaBelle and an essay by critic and theorist Robin Wilson.