Rumble of wheels

2012 Kempa Isle Vinnitsya Ukraine

Public sound installation
one-channel audio, loudspeakers,
computer-controlled operation

Situated in the center of Vinnitsya, Kempa isle was made artificially during the building of fortification facilities in the 16th century, and various state organizations were based there later on.

From the beginning of the 20th century, intensive tram traffic had started when bridges to the island were erected. After the World War II, town authorities laid out a park and renamed the island as Festivalny (Festival Isle). Indeed many festivals took place there.

In 2011, Roshen corporation, the Ukrainian confectionary manufacturer, hold the Southern Bug embankment renovation and set the largest in Europe floating fountain system. Kempa situated nearby has become an abandoned territory (the bridges were dismantled during the renovation).

The Roshen fountain acts as an immaterial monument to a present-day construction industry practice: enormous funds have been invested in media, light and laser projections; kilowatts of sound installed on a floating platform; in the result, we got total loss of the former functionality and destruction of the connections with the past and present.

To return the presence of the island to the town, we installed two 300 watts loudspeakers on the last concrete remains. The speakers translated sounds of passing-by trams (remember the isle’s history), sounds of insects and birds living there mixed by narrated texts of unrealized island reconstruction projects.

The periods of the sound system working were synchronized with the fountain silent shows in order to integrate its sounds into the official entertainment program.

Kempa Isle sound system timetable

14:45 – 14:55, 15:45 – 15:55, 16:45 – 16:55, 18:45 – 18:55 (tram sounds/field recordings/texts about reconstruction)

22:00 – 22:30 (field recordings from the island broadcast only)