Thin Air – The Psycho-Vocalic Discoveries of Alan Smithson


Media player
surround sound amplifier
4 speakers

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Thin Air – The Psycho-Vocalic Discoveries of Alan Smithson

by Dr Annette Gomperts (pseudonym for Paul Rooney)

Four channel sound installation for lecture theatre (with projected photographs and accompanying booklet of lecture notes), 60 mins, 2009.

The press release read: "Belgian architectural historian Dr Annette Gomperts and her collaborator Paul Rooney have produced Thin Air: part academic lecture, part science-fiction story. Thin Air highlights the legacy of 1970s Leeds Polytechnic student Alan Smithson, who claimed that ‘voices’ he had recorded in the Polytechnic’s H Building were sonic manifestations of memories that had been somehow preserved in the electromagnetic ether of it’s rooms through a process which he called ‘site-anamnesis’. Smithson also asserted that the particularly radical and eventful — and ultimately tragic — history of the building had contributed to it’s facility for preserving and recalling the charged moments of remembrance." Thanks to Ron Crowcroft, Sonia Beck and Phill Harding. Commissioned by Sound and Music, Leeds Metropolitan University and MAAP.

Smithson’s recordings appear on the Alan Smithson and Annette Gomperts album Interference Zone on Owd Scrat Records:…;





Thin Air – The Psycho-Vocalic Discoveries of Alan Smithson