Neunundneunzig (99) is a kinetic sound sculpture. It takes the shape of a matrix made of ninety-nine balloons that inflate individually to surround visitors in a physical, sonic, and visual experience. The piece inhales and exhales, expands and deflates, building up an almost claustrophobic experience that aims to echo the crises and dilemmas our society is going through. It is a very physical experience, a kind of engagement with the machine. You enter the grid, which really functions like an organism – and looks like one too. You are seated in total darkness and start to hear and feel the initial breathing part; the intensities that follow can bring up different reactions.
The title and use of balloons evoke 99 Luftballons, Nena’s ‘80s song that talked about innocent objects that provoke nuclear paranoia in the cold war era. Nena’s song was a starting point and the formal part – the grid of ninety-nine balloons – comes from there. But in the reverse sense, these balloons don’t bring hope. They act instead as a suffocating grip. The intensities of the blocks or the logic of polarisation in the world are facts that seem too powerful to escape them. But it is not just about the cold war, which seems so hot now. By creating a total darkness, I’m interested in building an environment that doesn’t have the constant influx of information and distractions that we’re always exposed to.