Ohrensessel´ is probably the most comfortable way to experience your environment from a new acousic perspective. It acutally lends people a new pair of ears. By moving around with the chair, sounds of different stimuli will be selected, acoustically increased and displaced in their context. Because of the cone shaped ear extensions sounds from further distances might seem louder than others arising just right next to the participant. This is why the realtion of what you see and what you hear changes in the environmental perception.Ohrensessel´ invites people to spontaniously break into their daily actions to absorb places from a new point of view, by triggering the senses and putting them in a different relation to each other.
I chose several places in Cologne, which offer interesting acoustical and social surroundings and conditions. The most famous example is the fore court of the Cologne Cathedral. The space is wide, open and very windy, people come from all over the world to take a pictures of the dome. The train station offers a similar crowd, but much more stressed and narrow. Sounds are much more tight and close. The subway feels like a big rush. People only pass quickly, it´s not a place to spend much time with. But it surely offers interesting rhythms. Other places like cafés and parks sometimes asked for more time and patience until interactions happened.
People did not hesitate to use the chair. They started to push each other around as well as they tryed sound acoustical and communication tests by whispering or shouting from close or far distance. Some people sticked to us for a long while. They even went along with us when we changed our location.