Photographs: Ng Hui Hsien 

 
What do we lose when our privacy is taken away; when we can no longer hear our own voice?
 

großer Lauscher (big Eavesdropper) is a spatial sound performance, recorded in a radar dome, at a listening station in Berlin, Germany. Field Station Berlin was built by the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States government, during the cold war in the early 1960’s. Five narrators from five different continents recite the story of Echo from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, translated from Latin into English. The performance is exhibited in darkness, where space can be visualized via sound, through the protracted echo, created by the architecture of Field Station Berlin.

An echo is a reflection of sound, parallel in concept to a mirror. When a listener hears an echo, they are hearing a delay or reflection of the direct sound. Echo can also refer to the repeating of what has just been spoken or figuratively speaking, an echo can refer to a sympathetic response or recognition for another. My work investigates this concept of the mirror as a means to studying human connection.

Since the Bauhaus’ era of glass designed buildings to today’s NSA tracking, privacy is becoming a thing of the past. If the very structures of our modern society are built in opposition to self-reflection, we lose our autonomy to become better people for one another. In self-reflection we need a space of solitude, where the other is not projected. However in discovery of our selfhood, we are required to reflect and interact with others.

Production team photo taken at Teufelsberg, Berlin (left to right below):
Werner “Zappi” Diermaier
Dirk Dresselhaus
Grant Yarolin
Rehema Chachage
Claudia Martinez Mansell
Ng Hui Hsien
Alyssa Miserendino
Isabela Vecchi Alzuguir

Additional thanks to the preproduction assistance from
Ryan Biziorek & 
Paul Plamper

This project is supported with contributions from ARUP & an Ella Foundation Pratt Emerging Artists Grant, From the Durham Arts Council, with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resource