Tuned Mass Damper (2023)

Installation by Maryam Katan and Shaahin Peymani

In 1974, five years before the Islamic revolution, a Belgian construction company built the College Bridge and six other bridges in Tehran to facilitate the mobility of sports caravans during the Asian Olympics that year. Although these bridges were built for a temporary purpose and planned to be deconstructed, College Bridge has remained untouched, with its unique location where many historical events have come to pass during these 47 years.

This work was initially created in February 2022 before the Woman, life, freedom revolution, for the opening show of Rabt space located in an old building beside the College Bridge. Every few years, there are talks about dismantling the bridge due to the possibility of collapse. Structure experts have suggested using a Tuned Mass damper, a device used to reinforce structures, to preserve it. So far, no such device has been mounted and only paintings have been added.

By recording vibrations from the bridge’s surface, and also the archival footage of the 1974 Asian Olympics medal ceremony of Iran’s men’s water polo team, and inspired by the mechanism of a Tuned Mass Damper, this sound installation emphasizes the significance of hearing the unheard, the sonification of decay, and the continuity of a temporal state which was meant to fall.