BLACKOUT - THE ANTIPHONY VIDEO SUPPLEMENT
Disinformation (film copyright Barry Hale, concept and location research by Joe Banks)
"Blackout" by Disinformation features video footage of concrete parabolic air-defence Sound Mirrors, built at various sites on the UK coast between the first and second world wars. The purpose of the Sound Mirrors was to function as an early warning system - effectively a primitive acoustic version of Radar, to enable listeners to locate the sounds of attacking aircraft and ships. The production of the "Blackout" film (in 1997) took place towards the end of a century in which technological innovation and the brutalities of war went hand in hand. Like immersion in darkness, experiences of danger place individuals in heightened states of physiological awareness, increasing sensitivity of the nervous system to a broad range of environmental cues. Allied to the evolution of military R&D, this simple fact of animal psychology assumes concrete material forms - human anxiety physically manifests as early warning systems - which dramatically extend perceptions in terms of distance, subtlety and bandwidth. With the onset of tactical obsolescence these systems are either abandoned or dismantled, leaving a remarkable architectural legacy, above and below ground. "Blackout" is a multimedia art project made in response to this legacy. "Blackout" is designed to suggest and explore relationships between military archaeology, sensory acuity, archaeology and vernacular avant-garde architecture. "Blackout" was filmed by Barry Hale, and was conceived as an installation supplement to the Sound Mirror images by photographer Julian Hills that were published in 1997 on the sleeve of the Disinformation "Antiphony" double remix CD.
Disinformation (UK) is a research, installation and sound art project, active since 1995, which pioneered the use of electromagnetic (radio) noise from live mains electricity, lightning, laboratory equipment, trains, industrial and IT hardware, magnetic storms and the sun etc, as the raw material of musical and fine-art publications, exhibits and events. Sci-Fi author Jeff Noon wrote in The Independent that "people are fascinated by this work", and The Guardian commented "Disinformation combine scientific nous with poetic lyricism to create some of the most beautiful installations around". Disinformation artworks have been the subject of 8 UK solo exhibitions, and have been seen by nearly 100,000 people. The name "Disinformation" is used in the spirit of what Wittgenstein referred to as "The Liar's Paradox", however "Rorschach Audio" a research project conducted by Disinformation's main author has been peer-reviewed by leading academics and published by (amongst others) The MIT Press.
<< back to contents page