Zelle 148 (2006)

Sound installation for the exhibition «Einschluß 2» in the former prison of the Ministry for State Security (Stasi) of the GDR, Erfurt 2006.

A metal plate is installed on the plank bed of prison cell number 148, determining the position of the listener who takes headphones off the wall. A dim computer-controlled light is installed below the bed. A huge rock is vaguely visible in the corner of the room.

The essential aspect of the detainment, for me, seems to be isolation, with its goal of attrition and making the prisoner doctile. By elimination of any familar vis-à-vis, thought retreats into an inner monologue and the realm of fantasy.

In the sound installation, the real interior space and an imaginary outer space are confronted. Hearing the circumjacent room through headphones provokes a distancing effect which in a strange lucidity unveils the acoustics of the cell. The room echoes the invisible grinding of an object, which will soon be identified sliding over soil covered with leaves. The sparse narratives eventually leads us outside to an autumnal forest.

The work was realised in the SuperCollider language. The exact choice of sound material and durations of sections are subject to certain random variability. For the CD catalogue, one particular version was located. The piece is to be heard with closed headphones.

Zelle 148 (catalogue mix; use headphones)