Der (—) Turm (broadcast on Cashmere Radio 2019, Berlin)
Warming up (broadcast on Radiophrenia 2022, Glasgow CCA)
10’01 / 9’00 mins
Script: Adam Knight
Translation: Hans-Jörg Pochmann
Voice: Kaja Sesterhenn
In summer 2019 I was artist-in-residence at The Watchtower in Schlesischer Park, Berlin. My project worked with the watchtower’s historical and geographical visibility as monument, landmark and tool of surveillance. In 1987 London-based artist John Smith made the work ‘The Black Tower’; a film addressing the appearance of a mysterious black tower that menacingly stalks the artist across east London. Its process of becoming is facilitated by Smith’s narration encompassing everyday voices that witness the structure’s emergence. The Tower never fully appears in the film, glimpsed, partial and manifesting as hearsay. Reading the work forty years later ‘The Black Tower’ becomes an omen and marker for redevelopment that wields equal power in Berlin and London.
‘Der (—) Turm’ and ‘Warming Up’ are loosely conceived as a response to John Smith’s 1987 work ‘The Black Tower’. Listenability rather than visibility is used to explore The Watchtower as an historical and contemporary witness. The audio-works embrace dualistic East and West German approaches to Hörspiel (radio-plays); combining disembodied and didactic experiences. I conducted weeks of field recordings involving contact, coil, binaural, shotgun and omni microphones. The work developed in response to an intense relationship with the Tower: by looking outwards and inwards and to explore equivalences of listenability and visibility. The sound-work consists of a number of warming-up exercises in an attempt to synchronise my voice and cadence with the Tower and to activate dormant sonic potentials.
The Watch: Transmissions, Cashmere Radio (88.4 FM Berlin). 8th November 2019
Radiophrenia, Glasgow CCA. January 2022