High Fidelity Wasteland I: 100 Year Old Quicksilver Cloud

100 Year Old Quicksilver Cloud is the first work in High Fidelity Wasteland – an audio-centric trilogy that experiments with the material waste left over from generations of decomposing sound reproduction technology. Wading into the toxic haze of early transmission infrastructure, this installation sonifies the decaying atmosphere inside a thyratron – a 100 year old vacuum tube radiating a cloud of blue ionized mercury. Vacuum tubes generated, amplified and controlled some of the earliest flows of electrons signalling the start of widespread communication networks – radio, tv, telephony, computing. Though produced prior to practices of planned obsolescence and outliving industrial lifecycles of technology today, the decommissioned liquified metals of the thyratron represent one of the multitude of ruinous substrates of post industrial ecology.

Audio produced in collaboration with AGF (aka Antye Greie-Ripatti)
Technical support provided by Daniel Stigler

Commissioned by transmediale – festival for art and digital culture Berlin as part of the culture program related to Canada’s Guest of Honour presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020.Produced with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Government of Canada.

Further sponsorship provided by Martion – Audiosysteme.

Sirens

Sirens is a sound installation that consists of a custom made high fidelity sound system, found objects and an audio composition. The installation makes use of used motor hoods from the Trolli 35 lawnmower. The Trolli was one of the standard lawnmowers made and used in the former German Democratic Republic.

More about this project can be read about in the Soziale Sollbruchstelle Vol. 1 Publication

This work was made in collaboration with AGF (Antye Greie-Ripatti)

Sirens is part of the Soziale Sollbruchstelle Series of artworks that was funded by the Einstein Foundation Berlin and realized with the support of the Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences at the Berlin University of the Arts. The artist gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Photo credit: Philip Poppek
Video by: Jemma Woolmoore

Soziale Sollbruchstelle

Encompasing video, sound installation, photography and collage, Soziale Sollbruchstelle is an interdisciplinary artistic research project that iconizes and creates a fictitious universe for a forgotten piece of utilitarian technology. The work draws out patterns and juxtapositions surrounding practices of technology between a historically significant communist state and contemporary consumerist culture.

Manufactured from 1962-1989, the ‘Trolli ESM II’ was one of the very few models of lawnmowers made available to the people of the former socialist state, the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Its most striking characteristic is its motor hood. Sitting on top of the machine, with two mysterious looking horizontal air vents, it looks like an anthropomorphic spartan warrior adorning battle armour. There is an added sinister quality to these objects, as decades of use has marked them as if they have endured a lifetime of battle.

Soziale Sollbruchstelle deconstructs this household device and transposes it into the high definition/sleek aesthetic setting of present day consumer electronics design and marketing. By concealing and revealing its attributes, this series treats the old lawn mower like a rarified object of luxury and desire. Viewers are compelled to step into the mysterious universe of the Trolli and confront up close how the glossiness of its setting falls away as the detail of its embattled and timeworn patina takes over. Soziale Sollbruchstelle evokes both a militant history and sci-fi dimension, where the Trolli is at once both worn out and weathered yet primed for combat against a future of unkempt lawns. Within the mystifying narrative built up by the works, the austere, robot-like icon further acts as an analog for the ominous nature of a society of unease, connected to machines of questionable intelligence, power and control.

Soziale Sollbruchstelle is an interdisciplinary artistic research project carried out during a fellowship at Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences (BAS) / Graduiertenschule at the Art University of Berlin from 2016-2018.

The resulting works in this project include:
The Watch, video installation
Sirens, sound installation
Armour, sculptural installation with found objects
Tower, photograph
Lookout, photographic tryptic
Operation Manual, photographic collage
Government Issue, photograph
Soziale Sollbruchstelle, publication (deutsche Übersetzungen finden sie am Ende)

Artistic Collaborators:
AGF (Antye Greie-Ripatti)
Sophia Gräfe

Further artistic support and expertise from:
Jemma Woolmoore
Lena Maria Loose
Carolin Meyer
Artist Carpenter Berlin
Daniel Stigler

Soziale Sollbruchstelle was funded by the Einstein Foundation Berlin and realized with the support of the Berlin Centre for Advanced Studies in Arts and Sciences at the Berlin University of the Arts. The artist further gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and Halle14 Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst.

DIY Sonic Loophole Generator

‘DIY Sonic Loophole Generator’ is an animated step-by-step how-to video that demonstrates how to make a sonic loophole generator with mobile phones. This is a sister artwork to ‘DIY Telephone Feedback Performance’ – which you can read about here. These works are presented together as an Audio Visual Installation with a limited edition poster that is given away so that the effect can be experimented with at home.

This video was Commissioned by Michelle Kasprzak for the Future Flux Festival in Rotterdam