Genoa is one of the more culturally and historically rich cities in all of Europe — the storied site of the Most Serene Republic, the hometown of Christopher Columbus, and the place that gave the world pesto (we bow to you, Genoa). Leave it to architects to try to represent the soul of the city in little more than wires and noise.
Last fall, Splace, an Italy-based architecture collective, unveiled an indoor-outdoor installation at the stately Palazzo Ducale that combines colorful cables, speakers, and sound to literally and metaphorically capture the “voice” of Genoa.
Colorful cables and speakers literally capture the “voice” of Genoa.
Outside, the installation is a tangle of wires and speakers that hang off the building and blast all kinds of din recorded around the city, from bar chatter to the whir of traffic. The cables then snake their way into an art gallery, where visitors can throw on headphones and decide which sounds they want to tune in to, using a mixing panel. (Each cable color represents a different sound.) We’re not sure how effectively this cuts to the heart of a place that’s got thousands of years of history under its belt. Then again, we bet those traffic recordings tell you more about Italian culture than anything you could find in a book.
Unfortunately, the architects don’t have video of the installation, but we’ve got the next best thing: lots of pictures. Enjoy.