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 that explores the convergence of mental and physical space within the context of the now-demolished 'walled city,' a vertical slum in Hong Kong's Kowloon district. This former city, notorious for its cramped living conditions, serves as a metaphor for the commodification of mental space when urban living space becomes scarce. When taken literally, mental space could be envisioned as the space extending from ear to ear, and hearing could be seen as defining  the wall-to-wall dimensions of that space, akin to the idea that a darkroom lies behind our eyes. Imagine that mental space tranforms into a valuable real estate, a marketable place with room for expansion.
Utilizing binaural sound recording, where microphones are positioned inside the ears of a listener—here embodied by a wooden dummy—and transmitted through a headset, the result is an eerie immersion of noises within the room, blurring the line between external and internal spaces. The visual component involves a continuous backward-tracking camera moving seamlessly from one spatial realm to another, starting within a Zen garden photograph, progressing to a confined room, and eventually exiting the walled city of Kowloon.
Radio Piece (Hong Kong) challenges the coherence of perception by blending real and virtual spaces, critiquing the colonization of the mind as a form of real estate. Especially as real places and real resources become scarce, the space between ears and eyes may be considered as a potential refuge.

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David Claerbout ©2024