The Buzz

An installation in the form of furniture clusters and a live soundscape, The Buzz creates a commons for activities of slowed time and loose attention: idling, lounging, watching, or listening. The project fills sites across the UCLA landscape with forms of collective media: images, architecture, and sound. The Buzz is a collaboration by UCLA faculty and students from Architecture & Urban Design, cityLAB, Musicology, and REMAP and led by Gabriel Fries-Briggs, Dana Cuff, Tamara Levitz, and Jeff Burke. It is supported by a 2018 UCLA Arts Initiative Grant 2018 as part of the “Campus as Canvas” grant cycle. The installation will be on view at 5 sites from November 2 through December 14 with an opening event from 5:30-7:30pm at the Perloff Courtyard. 

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The installation is made from images and audio sampled from campus sites. The image samples that form furniture are combined through techniques of vision normally experienced by a single observer—phone panoramas, VR environments, and aerial drone cameras. The image-as-furniture renders these techniques as social amenities. The soundscape is a live composition, actively combining field recordings, live feedback of the environment, and a generative music that changes over the course of the day, week, and month.

This research seeks to reinvigorate the discourse of media environments by shifting the focus away from the vertical surface of buildings toward the horizontal landscape of the city and the collective media that frames our experiences of it. The project furnishes that landscape as a buzzing commons, a gathering place with architectural elements for sitting, talking, and listening.

Project Credits

Project Leads: Yiran Chen, Michael Pickoff, Gus Wendel

Sound Production: Jeff, Burke, Blair Subbaraman, Yasmine El-Tayeb

Sound Composition: Kevin Corrigan, Joe Rihn

Furniture Design: Aubrey Bauer, Dongxiao Cheng, Noor Jarrah, Xihan Lyu, Nichole Tortorici, Lingjie Wu, Ning Zhu

Project Type:    Installation
Authors:    Gabriel Fries-Briggs
Dana Cuff
Jeff Burke
Tamara Levitz
Collaborators:    UCLA Architecture & Urban Design
UCLA Musicology
Timeline:    2018
Themes:    Campus-as-Campus