Interactive sound system Jan Prins (2008) Rnul

BKOR archive
About the artwork

The Maastunnel was opened in Rotterdam in 1942. The Rotterdam poet Jan Prins (1876-1948) wrote two quatrains for this (a quatrain is a poem or a poem of a poem of four verse lines and two rhymes). The poet PC Boutens (1870-1943) also wrote one. Both assignments were given by the Rotterdam 1939 Foundation and the Nederlandsch Kunstverbond, Rotterdam department. The war prevented the installation of the works. In 1968, one of Jan Prins's quatrains got a place in Rijnhaven metro station. That van Boutens now adorned the northern entrance to the Maas tunnel. As part of the “Icons and Entrees” program of the Pact op Zuid, the CBK Rotterdam commissioned the second poem of Prince to be applied in word and sound to the southern entrance of the tunnel in 2008. This poem could be heard through the sound system from the mouths of various people from Rotterdam. They each read one line from the quatrain:
A light lane that runs through the night,
A path through silence and loneliness,
I deliver life's treasures:
From South to North, from North to South.
The work was interactive; as visitors moved through the tunnel, they heard the speech becoming polyphonic. The accompanying plaques were made by graphic designer Bart Oppenheimer. At the end of 2012, the sound system with accompanying plaque was removed. Only the plaque with the above pointer line is still present.

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About the artist

Rnul is a multimedia agency that focuses on interactive uses in the public space, whereby the public becomes part of the artwork. Rnul betsaat from Aart Muis (Rotterdam, 1980) and Rob Donkers (Gouda, 1977). They both studied at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam.