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Sound art stinks! Jacob Kirkegaard and Call & Response’s sewage system installation

Jacob Kirkegaard and Call & Response’s new installation based around London’s water and sewage system

Jacob Kirkegaard and the sound art collective Call & Response are launching a new installation this month based around London’s water and sewage system. Called London Subterraneous, their installation places microphones in hollow metal stink pipes constructed in the Victorian era to allow toxic gases to escape from the sewers. The idea was generated in part by the work of Athanasius Kircher, the 17th century German scientist whose visionary theories and designs for sound-making devices have inspired modern day artists such as Max Eastley, as well as Kirkegaard’s 2009 work Phonurgia Metallis. Kircher created “speaking trumpets” that transmitted the sounds of the street through the mouths of statues. In London Subterraneous, the stink pipes, which Kirkegaard describes as “poles of sound”, take on the role of Kircher’s trumpets, this time allowing the listener to hear the sounds beneath the streets.

London Subterraneous launches on 25 September and will take place at the Call & Response space every Saturday between 26 September–31 October from 12–6pm, with a special event on 30 October. More information can be found on their website.