Radio Piece (Hong Kong)

2015, single channel video projection, color, binaural sound over headphones, 11 min 40 sec
in collaboration with RAY Fotografieprojekte Frankfurt/RheinMain


Radio Piece (Hong Kong) is an audiovisual installation thematising the intersection of mental and physical space, set in the 'walled city', a vertical slum in the Kowloon district of Hong Kong. Now destroyed, this former city within a city was notorious for many reasons, among others for living space that were barely larger than a mattress.

Imagine for a moment that mental space has become the real estate, a marketable place with room for expansion, when urban living space became scarce.
When considered literally, mental space could be the space from ear to ear, and hearing could be the wall to wall size of that room, somewhat similar to our idea that behind our eyes lies a darkroom.
By using binaural sound, a recording method that positions the microphones inside the ear of the listener -in this case a wooden dummy-, then transmitting those sounds through the headset, the result may be an uncanny presence of noises inside the room, or should we say- inside the head?

The visual part of the work consists of an uninterrupted backtracking camera, smoothly moving from one type of space into another, starting inside a photograph of a Zen garden, gradually revealing a cramped room and finally exiting the walled city of Kowloon.

In Radio Piece (Hong Kong) everything seems directed to appear like a rhythmical sequence of sounds, in a space that is uninterrupted and sovereign.
But in fact space, living-conditions, mental space and virtual space have been mixed to cast doubt onto the coherence of perception, all while formulating a critique on the colonisation of the mind - as - real estate.
As real places and real resources become unavailable, the space between the ears and the eyes may be considered as a refuge.


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David Claerbout ©2018