To encourage environmentally responsible manufacturing processes, Audi has done something special. French Artist Sebastien Leon created a perception-bending visual project at Audi’s behest on the waterfront of Guangzhou, China. The “polyphonic installation” is an enormous spherical room filled with more than a thousand silver foil balloons, speakers playing a mixture of 30 different bird and engine sounds, and the R8 frame itself suspended from the ceiling, all bathed in pink light.
The effect of the project, called “Conference of the Birds,” is unusual and highly evocative. All of the reflective balloons create multiple reflections, which shows users many viewpoints of themselves and the R8. The pink light is an unnatural hue, and intentionally so: it reminds you that cars are not directly in concert with nature. The bird noises remind viewers that automobiles are still made from natural components, and thus should be made in an environmentally conscious manner.
The site of the art piece, Guangzhou, China, is the manufacturing center of the world. It is the third largest city in China with 13 million residents and an annual GDP upwards of $140 billion. The goal of the art exhibit is to promote manufacturing processes and products that are environmentally sustainable.
The lightweight Audi R8 frame is made from aluminum monocoque—strength derived from the body itself of the vehicle—and is built in Germany. It is probable that Audi sources that aluminum from Guangzhou.