Louise K Wilson
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Submerged Silent Service | 2015

Submerged: Silent Service was presented at Ohrenhoch - the Noise Shop in Berlin in August 2015 as part of the Sound Activism programming strand.

It explores the idea of a 'gentle' auditory activism in which background intensities are brought to the fore, resulting in a politically charged ambient soundscape. In this case, the legible voices and most obvious 'music' from selected submarine films' sound tracks have been removed. The piece stems from a conversation the artist had with a submariner who described how when watching feature films, he found himself habitually concentrating on the auditory 'background' rather than the dialogue.

The installation was presented in the cellar 'bassbox' space at Ohrenhoch, a rough and ready, dark and empty cellar - fitted with a sound system suited to low frequency work. Due to the nature of the work (and the space), there is no visual documentation. The images show the accompanying text and visitors entering the space down the staircase.

The curators, Knut Redmond and Katharina Moos have written "The submarine sounds gorgeously in the cellar with the bassbox.it precisely matches the cellar spaces acoustically, fabulous! I eagerly wait the water pipe in the cellar to begin operation"..."the visitors were very interested but also irritated at the same time by the intensity and by the fact that there was quasi an interplay of the cellar (space) and 'submerged: silent service'. many of them found it scary to find themselves in a submarine...you really succeeded in creating something magnificent, a sound-happening which sort of welds together with the space (water drops, steps, stepping up ladder, screams etc), so that shiftings of reality occur, and at the same time intensify to thrilling hallucinations."

"submerged: silent service" is a piece that goes perfectly with ohrenhoch (acoustically, aesthetically and theoretically), and it corresponds to my explicit conception to concentrate exactly in this context on the spectrum of so-called new music or sound installation, namely not on the visual but on what possibilities music, acoustics, sound etc. have. i also wanted to add that to my mind, the space/cellar, the architecture and therewith the city of berlin with its history, together with 'submerged: silent service' brings an important part to understanding." (emails 23/08/2015, 02/09/2015 and 03/09/15)

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