The Sound of the Multitude

Ruhr Ding Schlaf Nik Nowak

The pedestrian underpass at the Konrad Adenauer Bridge in Mülheim is not an inviting place, despite a view of the river slowly streaming past. Rather, the concrete pillars, graffiti, and low passageway give rise to an urban ‘non-place’ where walkers strolling along the idyllic path next to the Ruhr River suddenly find themselves confronted with traces of an efficient metropolitan traffic system. It is precisely here that Nik Nowak has transformed an overseas shipping container into a seemingly monolithic, movable sound sculpture of industrial dimensions. As a participatory installation, it creates a site for discourse and for musical, acoustic intervention. The daily programme also contains suggestions and compositions uploaded on the associated website and uses the Multitude as an amplifier and instrument whose extraordinary sound experience affects the whole body.

This project is both an appeal to society and a megaphone amplifying different voices and sounds in this context, a society shaped by migration routes over multiple generations and by phases of industrial and post-industrial development. Taking as a point of departure the question of who we are as a society, the Berlin-based artist Nik Nowak (b. 1981 in Mainz) confronts virtuality with materiality, while thematising the relationship between private life and the public sphere in the digital age. His multimedia work is focused on the affective dimensions and potentials of sound and space that redefine the formal boundaries between installation and sculpture. For Nowak, sound is both a source of identity and an element influencing society. Here, he is particularly interested in the implementation of mobile sound systems as cultural transmitters and as a global and trans-temporal phenomena, and in contrast, their use as acoustic weapons in warfare.

The project The Sound of the Multitude is supported by the Karin und Uwe Hollweg Stiftung.

Open Call

Sound enthusiasts and producers; music lovers, artists and poets; vocalists, sonic experimentalists and acoustic adventurers from across the globe are invite to submit sound files and actively take part in the project The Sound of the Multitude.


Unter der Konrad-Adenauer-Brücke
45468 Mülheim an der Ruhr

Portrait Nik Nowak Photo Hinata Ishizawa jpg Artist ©

Nik Nowak

In his multimedia work, Nik Nowak concentrates on the affective dimensions and potentials of sound and space so as to redefine the boundaries of form between installations, sculptures, and paintings.