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Video: ‘Immovable Objects Secret States’ by John Billan

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My friend John Billan from RMIT University made this experimental video and it was presented at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) as part of a conference called ‘Open Fields’ in April this year. Some of the sounds on the video are of an opera singer backwards, basic droan sounds and recordings of short wave numbers stations that have been used by the worlds intelligence agencies to transmit secret messages. The Conet Project is the first comprehensive collection of Numbers Stations recordings released to the public. It is best to view the video in full screen mode (by clicking on the button second from right at the bottom, the one that looks like four arrows). I was mesmerised when I saw the video!

Next John is off to England to to photograph the Sound Mirrors around the Kent area (including the truly astounding Denge sound mirrors – click on the photos below to see a larger version) and to do some recording of the sounds they reflect. I am jealous LOL – they are such amazing structures, what a good find. I can only imagine the sounds and photos that John will get.

Many thankx to John for allowing me to post the video and to Andrew Grantham for allowing me post the photographs of the sound mirrors from his website. He says that people “do some some interesting art stuff based on the mirrors!”

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John Billan
Immovable Objects Secret States
video 10 minutes 8 seconds
2010

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Denge Sound Mirrors
(click on the image for a larger version)

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“Spectacular remnants of a dead-end technology, the three concrete “listening ears” at Denge near Dungeness in Kent are the best known of the various early warning acoustic mirrors built along Britain’s coast.

A forerunner of radar, the sound mirrors were intended to provide early warning of enemy aeroplanes (or airships) approaching Britain. They did work, but the development of faster aircraft made them less useful, as an incoming aircraft would be within sight by the time it had been located. Increasing ambient noise made the mirrors harder to use successfully, and then radar rendered acoustic detection redundant.”

Text from the Andrew Grantham website

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Denge 200 foot Sound Mirror

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Reverse of the Denge 200 foot Sound Mirror
(click on the image for a larger version)

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Reverse of the Denge 30 foot Sound Mirror
(click on the image for a larger version)

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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