Suspended See-Saw Makes Music from Movement in Morocco

see-saw, morocco-marrakech, Alex Schweder, Rise and Fall, art, architecture, human movement, music, design, temporary installation We have to admit that this isn’t anything particularly “green” about this see-saw, but it does harvest the movement of people to make music. And that’s just downright cool. A temporary installation designed for last year’s Marrakech Biennale, The Rise and Fall blends architecture and art to question how people occupy spaces and how those spaces in turn occupy them. Frankly, we think this is an important thought experiment in a region that pays so little attention to the occupation of its people by crowded, polluted, and poorly planned urban environments.

see-saw, morocco-marrakech, Alex Schweder, Rise and Fall, art, architecture, human movement, music, design, temporary installation A site-specific design that appears to be suspended between the stage and opera pit of the Theatre Royale, which was built in the 1970s as a near copy of the Garnier Opera House in Paris, The Rise and Fall consists of a latticed wooden structure balanced on a hidden steel frame.

A luxurious length of red fabric is wrapped around the middle like a giant ribbon, adding a sense of drama to the exhibit.

Tamara Friebel composed two separate soundtracks for the project using sounds from Morocco. These are played on record players positioned on either end of the moving timber frame.

see-saw, morocco-marrakech, Alex Schweder, Rise and Fall, art, architecture, human movement, music, design, temporary installation Visitors to the exhibit were invited to experience this suspended space. Many who were uncomfortable with heights opted out, but those who did reported being instantly affected by the curious space. Meanwhile, the tilt of the frame activated either one of the two soundtracks.

“Given the colonial history between France and Morocco, importing a form of performance that does not have a history of popular appreciation in Marrakech struck me as a kind of culturally colonial decision,” Schweder told Co.Design.

He added that this balancing platform acts as something of a negotiation piece that was installed during some of the most fragile moments of the so-called Arab Spring, though we doubt any peace agreements were made on high.

For more from the Biennale, check out this curious installation made with mud and mirrors!

:: Co.Design

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