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The article tries to explain different aspects of sound art in public space in the context of an understanding of a modified language of twentieth-century visual art and music. It gives a description of different approaches to colouring situations and contexts with sound. Various examples of sonification and artistic treatments in our surrounding are shown. It shows an artistic practice which is linked to social-cultural aspects and their critical role in art. Therefore sound installations are placed into a genealogy of installation practice in public space.