Listen to the city with Sonic Graffiti

Plug into an alternate sound of the city

Supersonic happens at the Custard Factory complex in an area of Birmingham known as Digbeth. Built around the nearby River Rea (for easy access to transportation), the first settlement of what is now Birmingham was in fact established here in the 7th century.  Come the Industrial Revolution and Digbeth becomes one of the first centres of industry in Birmingham, beginning a long and important history of successful trading and manufacturing.  Nowadays, light industry and creative businesses sit alongside each other in the area.

It’s these interconnected histories and threads that the Sonic Graffiti project explores.  All around the area, set into a decaying walls, there are a headphone sockets. Unplug yourself from your own world and plug into sounds from this place and beyond, dark and decayed sounds, pulling you beneath the surface and into the fabric of buildings, past lives and multi-layered histories. The project features sound works by Mr.Underwood – these are contained within the installations with each piece based on a field recording taken close to the site in which you find it. The pieces will require you to interact with them in a variety of ways to trigger or manipulate the sound.

Sonic Graffiti is a co-commission between Capsule and VIVID and is part of an experimental season entitled Crash, stimulated by the vision of J.G. Ballard.  Ballard’s writing, particularly on urban utopia/dystopia, frequently covers ground from ecological fears to the sexualisation of technology and from urban ruin to suburban alienation. His universe pervades music, film, fashion, visual arts, architecture and recent philosophical constructs such as psychogeography.

The artist Sam Underwood will tour his Sonic Graffiti project during the festival.  Meet him on Friday 21st October at 8pm or Sunday 23rd October at 8pm outside VIVID – and bring headphones.
VIVID | 140 Heath Mill Lane | Birmingham | B9 4AR


One Response to “Listen to the city with Sonic Graffiti”

  1. Supersonic 2011 Periphery Guide | I Am Pete Ashton /

    […] Sonic Graffiti is Sam Underwood’s sound installations dotted around Digbeth. You find a cluster of electronics buried into a wall and plug your headphones in. Sam’s doing guided walks on Friday and Sunday at 8pm from Vivid. (On Friday the first acts start at 9.20 so you can squeeze this in.) […]