BERG - A Soundscape for Berlin

App for iPhone and iPad/ Berlin / 2013

“Just a wiggle of the etymological wand, and suddenly we’re all fetishist. Fetishism wasn’t synonymous with getting all hot and bothered by patent leather heels until 19th century psychologist Alfred Binet adjusted the term as such. Fact is, fetishism can be the mythologization of any man-made item–from the Holy Cross, voodoo dolls, or national flags, all the way to abstract concepts like our childhood home or a historically loaded site–and we don’t need to find them sexy for these objects to hold their grip.

There is such a thing as historical fetishisation, and with Berlin’s dark past, many a location lends itself to this near-obsessive fascination. Few locations have drawn quite as many curious onlookers as Grunewald’s Teufelsberg, and audio-visual artist Valentina Ferrandes has set out to confront visitors with the obvious, well-intentioned, yet somewhat comical fetishistic attraction to the former Cold War listening station with her interactive audio-visual sound art project Berg. The free smartphone app accompanies pathfinders through the woodsy Teufelsberg area with a layered soundscape of fictional audio fragments from cliché Cold War films, field recordings, actual clandestine short wave frequency messages, and electronic music elements. Each audio layer will activate via GPS as listeners wander through carefully selected “sound cloud” areas.“

The Sound of Surveillance / Sugarhigh / 14 August 2013