Berlin Sensor

A collaboration with John Bowers at Spektrum Berlin for the transmediale/CTM Vorspiel 2018 festival

Tim Shaw Spektrum Berlin January 2018-6370

Berlin, Sensor works with the image of the city of Berlin as a giant sensor device capable of picking up, analysing, and transmitting traces of local and global discord. Over the course of two days (27th-28th January, culminating with a performance at Spektrum), we will visit sites in the sensor-city which we conceive as specifically tuned to different categories of discord (environmental, meteorological, urban, logistical, technological, political, spiritual).

For example, we will visit the Langenscheidtbrücke, the 1898/9 bridge, which with its characteristic architecture famously served as the location for the scene in Wim Wenders’ Der Himmel über Berlin (English: Wings Of Desire) where the angel Damiel comforts the dying motorcyclist. For us, the bridge is a resonant sensor for the turmoil of urban flows. Sensitive accelerometer-based contact microphones will be rested on the bridge to sense the passage of traffic, pedestrians and angels over it and the railway underneath. A field trip to the cold-war listening post on top of Teufelsberg will allow us to collect and transmit Software Defined Radio, Slow Scan Television, sensor data and electromagnetic induction signals. From the top of Devil’s mountain we will create an entropic network of listening devices to explore and remediate this liminal space.

Tim Shaw Spektrum Berlin January 2018-6422

Though an improvised performance, we will follow our image of Berlin as a giant sensor of local and global discord by emphasising the interplay, interference and layering of multiple materials and forms of dynamical ordering. In this way, our imaginary sensor-city will not just inform the materials we collect but also how they and we interact to create an experimental mythogeosonic aesthetics of signal mixing.

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