Demophone

Audio installation, 2004

A sound installation installed in the upper gallery of the White Space.

In Demophone mobile phones were used to record a series of events onto answerphone machines. 

Triggered by the audience when lifting a telephone receiver the machines replay the sounds of various crowds, ranging from excited cheering and critical chanting to slow clapping.

The recorded events date from the 4th June 2002, the 12th February 2003, the 10th March 2003, the 18th of November 2003 and the 20th November 2003. 

The dates correspond to the Air Show at the Queen's Jubilee, the Anti War Demonstration, a Channel 4 transmission of the Final Countdown with audience members slow clapping the Prime Minister, crowds witnessing and cheering the last hour of David Blane's 40 days of fasting and the Bush-Go-Home protest. All live events took place in London.

In the course of history crowds have played varying roles. They were spectators or instrumental to change, appeared silent or vocal. 

Demophone aims to give a voice to the crowds whilst also questioning the nature and motives of such crowds in various configurations and situations.

Some comments included here in the collection of sound samples suggest that in the current political climate in Britain the people are not being listened to.

Credits

Electronics: Nic Sandiland
Sound: Claudia Kappenberg
Additional sound: Andrew Downs

 

Part of

CONTROLLED DEMOCRACY 
1 - 18 September 2004 
White Space Gallery in St Peter's, 
Vere Street, London

Curator: Anya Stonelake
 

Participating artists

Olga Chernysheva (Russia), Georgy Ostretsov (Russia), Claudia Kappenberg (Germany), Radek group (Russia), Superflex - FACT collaboration (Denmark - UK).