Bell’s Breath transforms the tolling of the bells in the Ulm Minster into a work of sound art. This project by Andreas Usenbenz was created for the 125th anniversary of the minster spire’s completion and was presented in the form of an audio installation inside the minster in the fall of 2015.
Bells Breath strips away that function, creating a new form of auditory experience. The moment of the bell tolling has been recorded, the tone stretched and the individual tones are layered on top of each other. The sound installation was situated on the ground floor inside the minster, beneath the bell frame.
When dealing with this work, it is helpful to have a brief look at Minimal Art. In the early 1960ies, a new understanding of art was being developed in contrast to abstract painting. Part of it was an abandonment of categories that had been considered essential until then, like the aesthetic experience or the artists signature style. Industrially produced materials were now being used, every day objects were stripped bare of their function. Experiencing art turned into an experience of self-awareness on behalf of the audience.