Overload by Jelka Kretzschmar & Kelly Spanou

by Jelka Kretzschmar and Kelly Spanou

Basically our idea was to play with overlay and the effect sound has on an audience. We wanted the create a sound installation that would mobilise and motivate people to interact with different tools.

As the initial situation we would bring the visitor in a stressful situation by an overload of visual and audible informations and the incapability of assign sounds to images. By interacting with the setup in a “DJ station” the listener would 1) listen to his own breathing and heartbeat, and 2) would activate one of the sounds from the videos by pressing any of four buttons on a Mixer we installed.

The idea is to provide a strong contrasted experience of the Sound of Surrounding and the Listening to chosen material and to yourself and your reaction to either confusing noise and chosen extracts.

Mimi Onuoha & Alexandra Lang experiencing Jelka Kretzchmar & Kelly Spanou's Overload installation
Mimi Onuoha & Alexandra Lang experiencing Jelka Kretzchmar & Kelly Spanou’s Overload installation


Starting with a great vision of a complex installation with four projectors, microphone, stethoscopical tools, tangible Mixer and more, we had to make many compromises. Writing and learning about some Processing scripts, we were confronted with many complications in the setup. In the end we had the skip the idea of the “listening to your own physical self” but selected information and concentrated on the scenes and active parts for the audience.

As a mixer we built a wooden box with four touch-sensitive notches and two sticks, associated with drumsticks, for the user interaction. Once the sticks would touch the sensitive buttons all videos would stop and one image would freeze and you listen to its script.

The Audience would hear the noise of the installation from outside already.

Overload by Jelka Kretzschmar & Kelly Spanou


The final setup contained a VVVV script managing the information coming from the Arduino mixer, a 5.1 stereo sound-system, two projectors and many cables. The scene material chose was highly contrasted to each other and intended to show the diversity of feelings you could get by watching/listening, and we also wanted to see in which order and with what kind of tendencies or rhythms people would listen to either an action or beach scene, and interview or a classical music concert.

Overload by Jelka Kretzschmar & Kelly Spanou

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