Escalier Forte, which translates to “loud staircase” in French, is located in Stairwell H of Ponce City Market. Artist Mark Wentzel, and sound designer, Andrew Lackey, activate the first floor service stairwell as it ascends from below Ponce City Market’s food court to the top floor of the building. The project transforms the stairwell into a multi-story stringed instrument, exploring the inherent acoustic properties of the space using string vibration, as well as both sympathetic and forced resonance.
About the Artist
Mark Wentzel is a multi-disciplinary visual artist living in Atlanta, Georgia and a native of Detroit, Michigan. His work represents a diverse set of topics from Modern iconography, human ideology, consciousness, perception and individual motivation. In 2009, Mark presented a solo exhibition at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center entitled Morale Hazard, a comment on the crisis in the US auto industry, in which he suspended a 1965 Ford Mustang from the ceiling. He received international attention for his work XLounge, an artistic modification of a set of Eames Lounge chairs which were included in the 2008 SCOPE NY exhibition and won an award at 2010 Artprize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His XLounge works were shown at the CDC’s David J. Sencer Museum entitled Consequential Matters considering obesity and contemporary aesthetics. In 2018 Mark’s work BIOID: A Bio-Marker Patent Generator was included in the Venice Architectural Biennale and travelled to V&A Museum for London Design Week and later the Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. In Spring of 2019 Mark collaborated with Atlanta’s Freedom Park Conservancy on the DWELLING project in Inman Park inspired by his 2015 Flow Fields proposal for the
Goat Farm Art Center. Mark has received several grants with the CDC and other public health institutions applying creativity to public health issues. He maintains ongoing collaborations with scientists and researchers to inform large scale public projects addressing human perception and awareness.
Andrew Lackey is the founder of Wabi Sabi Sound. Lackey is a veteran sound designer of Warner Bros, EA, Skywalker Sound, and Danetracks. A 12-time award-winner for Matrix, Dead Space, and Ori & the Blind Forest franchises, Lackey is fascinated with sound’s ability to touch the human spirit. In 2008, Lackey founded Wabi Sabi and leads a phenomenal team as creative director and CEO.