Korinsky – Atelier für vertikale Flächen /// documentary from Korinsky on Vimeo.

We imagine we see where we are. We even describe our eyes as being open as awareness. But perhaps that’s because we are so deeply connected to sound as to take that connection for granted. Perceptive research has revealed in profound relief that we hear where we are, too. And artists are beginning to take that knowledge and fuse it with art making.

To quote The Outer Limits, “We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity.”

In extending sound to illusions forged in vertical dimensions, the brothers Abel, Carlo and Max Korinsky are creating new sonic illusions.

Vertical sound, it seems, is harder to localize than horizontal sound. Playing on perceptual confusion, the Korinsky brothers’ recent work tickles the sonic brain with shifting architectures of timbre, producing movement and reconfiguring the imagined space as you listen. They applied the technique last year to the cavernous former power plant Kraftwerk, behind Tresor in Berlin, for 3845 m/s, the work featured in the film.

There, graphics have to help you conceive the way the work deployed sound art through space, since of course we’re limited to crude stereo playback on the Internet. But their work is a kind of kinetic composition in the environment, the awareness of motion and architecture fusing in the mind. This is art that plays directly with the conception of the reality around us, synthesis in the act of perception itself.

Inside the shadowy labyrinth: work-in-progress shot from this week's premiere installation.

Inside the shadowy labyrinth: work-in-progress shot from this week’s premiere installation.

I hope to talk more to the Korinskys following seeing their new work, which premieres tomorrow at LEHRTER SIEBZEHN (which also hosted CDM’s co-curated unrender series). I’m particularly interested in how they compose in this way, and how their own custom-produced software figures in. There seems to be a scene around new architectural forms of sound – not only spatialized audio, but sound that is more than just content deployed to speakers, sound that is itself a production in space and the illusion of movement. See also the 4DSOUND system now touring Europe, which similarly produces illusions of location and motion by combining software processing with multiple speakers in an environment.

Inside the post-industrial cave that is Kraftwerk, Berlin, site for the trio's work last year. Photos courtesy the artists.

Inside the post-industrial cave that is Kraftwerk, Berlin, site for the trio’s work last year. Photos courtesy the artists.

Displacing sound is one of the illusions that figures into their work. Here, a field recording from another environment will later find its way into the Kraftwerk interior.

Displacing sound is one of the illusions that figures into their work. Here, a field recording from another environment will later find its way into the Kraftwerk interior.

In any of these environments, of course, your position as an observer has a huge impact on what you experience. When I visited 4DSOUND last week in Amsterdam, I found myself compelled to wander around, almost like a sonic voyeur, possessed by some appetite to shift my own hearing through the space.

That could make the latest outing from this award-winning trio the most interesting yet. They’ve conceived the new premiere as an audiovisual walk. The labyrinth walk has a long history in meditation, spirituality, reflection, and remembrance; here, that path is guided by sound as well as image, pulling the visitor through the space by way of their senses.

Listen, in previews provided to CDM:

Here’s how the curators, Stefanie Greimel & Johanna Wallenborn, describe that:

Everywhere it rustles, hammers, clanks or roars mechanically: for the last month Abel, Carlo and Max Korinsky have been working on a new body of work. LEHRTER SIEBZEHN is proud to present a uniquely designed audiovisual walk in installation spanning over 125 m2, developed by the 3 brothers. Combining visual and aural elements into a single unit, seeing and hearing are interdependent and jointly create unexpected illusions. As seen in their previous work, they are experimenting with transducer while enlivening an evolved version of their Klangrelief series as a visual component. The visitor experiences the existence of various sound-worlds, which seem to evoke and fade with every step made.

// about Korinsky

Recently awarded with the Young European Trieste Contemporanea Award and the Mercedes Benz Kunst Award, the Korinsky brothers are deeply engaged in exploring a phenomenon named “vertical hearing“. Tones which flow from above onto the person are more difficult for the human ear to locate than those that originate at the horizontal level. Based on this physical principle of confusion and irritation, the collective Korinsky creates exceptional artworks that draw the visitor into their unique spell. Their self-developed software “Vertical Sound Lab” enables them to operate several speakers individually to generate heterogeneous soundscapes.

Korinsky Brothers.

Korinsky Brothers.

Max Korinsky tells CDM, messaging us as he constructs the installation, “it is growing and growing; tomorrow you can walk through a tunnelsystem of black colour and wooden structures combined with a special sound environment.”

If you’re in the Berlin, Germany area, the opening is tomorrow the 25th of June, at 7PM, Lehrter Str 17, and continues to run 26th – 29th of June, daily 12-6 PM.

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If not, please do feel free to add questions or comments about related work, as there’s plenty more to say.

You can also explore the brothers’ sound work on their site:


Or via the venue: