Recognize Everyone

Benoît Maubrey: ARENA

Kitchener City Hall, 200 King Street West. Produced by CAFKA. Sponsored by Celebrate Ontario, the Schwartz Family, and the City of Kitchener. Performing artists made possible with the support of Vidyard. Fabrication assembly and operation by Benoît Maubrey, Jago Whitehead, Rex Lingwood, Mark Resmer, Johnny Camara, with help from Carolyn Ernest, John Schanck, Don Leibold, Thomas Vicario, Russ Campbell, Frank Seglenieks, and Vinay Yuvashankar with co-ordination and support from Mars Orlowska. Special thanks to Ron and Patrick Doyle at Lot 42 and Kristen Gillette at Communitech. ARENA programming by Aaron Francis with the support of Bronwyn Bataillard. Thank you to everyone who donated their used speakers to the ARENA project. Photo: Shaquille de Peazer.
ARENA is a mobile interactive sound sculpture by Berlin-based artist Benoît Maubrey. ARENA is conceived in the shape of a small amphitheater, constructed with 320 recycled loudspeakers. The sculpture can function both as a mobile “Speakers Corner“ — a “hotspot“ for local participation and self-expression but also as a stage for small events and concerts. 
The public, local artists, musicians, choral groups and organizations can participate by relaying songs and messages via Bluetooth and individual Smartphones, or by connecting their devices and instruments via a direct "line in." Additionally ARENA can be used as PA system for events, DJs, and small concerts. The volume is controllable via a mixing board, individual amplifiers and receivers situated in a small storage space nearby.
ARENA won first prize at the Hacking Urban Furniture contest in 2017 (Institute for Art and Urbanistics, Berlin, Germany) as a public interactive sculpture and was nominated for the Media Architecture Award for Interactive Public Structures 2018 in Bejing.
ARENA was constructed at Lot 42 in Kitchener and was previewed at the True North Waterloo conference in May, 2018. It was installed in Carl Zehr Square at the Kitchener City Hall during the CAFKA.18 biennial.
Public Interaction
The public can interact with ARENA in three ways:
  1. by calling either one of the following  telephone numbers (limited for 3 minutes): (226) 929-4733 or (226) 929-4724
  2. by logging on to the following Bluetooth addresses and playing music and messages: Belkin E 14; Belkin Song Stream BT F82... N.B. (Please regulate sound volume on your smartphone so as to not distort sound)
  3. or simply by using the available microphone.


Live Performance Program

Seagram Synth Ensemble, Sat June 2, 7 PM

Polly Beats, Wed June 6, 13 & 20, 12 - 1 PM

Spoken Word with Janice Jo Lee, Fri June 8, 7 - 10 PM

Open Mic, Fri June 15, 7 - 10 PM & Sat June 16, 2 - 4 PM 

Ramsay Almighty, Fri June 23, 7 - 9 PM

Full Moon Boogie, Thu June 28, 6 - 11 PM

The live performance program has been made possible with the support of Vidyard.

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About the artist

Benoit portrait cropped.jpgBenoît Maubrey is a sound artist known internationally for his interactive sound sculptures and wearables. He is the director and founder of DIE AUDIO GRUPPE a Berlin-based art group that builds and performs with electronic clothes. He is also well known for his Audio Ballerinas – dancers who wear speaker tutus and make music based on their movements. 

Benoît Maubrey studied visual art at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and moved to Berlin in 1979. Recent and ongoing projects by the artist are taking place at the Contemporary Art Center, Cairo (ongoing); Karaoke Torii, Kamiyama, Japan (2016); Kobe Biennale, Kobe Japan (2015); MaerzMusik, Berliner Festspiele (2014); Audio Igloo, Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten, Marl, Germany (2013); and The Cube, Hard Rock Hotel, Palm Springs, California (2013). He currently lives in the village of Baitz in Brandenburg, Germany. 

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ARENA has been made possible with the support of Celebrate Ontario, the Schwartz Family and the City of Kitchener.